14 SES 04 A, Schooling in Rural/Urban Context I
Parallel Paper Session
This study, funded by the British Academy and the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), aimed to explore the extent to which the state education system can be seen as contributing to the depopulation of one island in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. The study examined this issue in relation to government policy around both the location of school premises and the nature of the curriculum and ethos of the school. The study aimed to plot the post-school destinations of all Raasay school pupils 1901-2000 and to survey a sample of former Raasay school pupils 1941-2000 to probe their decision-making after school and the factors involved in their decisions to leave/stay.
The study used some of the work of Pierre Bourdieu (1990, 2004) to frame its enquiry, making use of the concepts of habitus and capital, in particular, as well as drawing on other developments of Bourdieu’s work by Hodkinson (1998) and by Corbett (2007). The study explored the extent to which moving away from home was conditioned to some extent by the prevailing habitus, influenced by both family and school attitudes, and the extent to which young people could be seen to possess differential levels of mobility capital and the extent to which such an analysis was revelatory in relation to the phenomena under examination.
The study was also shaped by three further theoretical positions: a positive and supportive attitude towards the island and its continued sustainability; a generally positive attitude towards schooling and education; and, finally, a view which sees genuine choice as a good thing, as opposed to young people’s futures being determined, prescribed, or constrained.
The study was also contextualised as being part of a global development where increased urbanization and uniform government policy contribute to the enfeebling of rural, maritime, and insular communities.
Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge: Polity Press. Bourdieu, P. (2004). Forms of capital. In S.Ball (Ed.), The RoutledgeFalmer reader in sociology of education (pp. 15-29). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Corbett, M. (2007). Learning to leave: the irony of schooling in a coastal community. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing. Hodkinson, P. (1998). Career decision-making and the school to work transition. In M. Grenfell & D. James (Eds.), Bourdieu and education: acts of practical theory (pp. 89-103), Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer. Stockdale, A. (2002). Towards a typology of out-migration from peripheral areas: A Scottish case-study. International Journal of Population Geography, 8, 345-64. Withers, C. (1996). Place, memory, monument: memorializing the past in contemporary Highland Scotland. Cultural Geographies, 3, 325-344.
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