• Annette Nørgaard Nielsen
4. semester, Socialt Arbejde, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Abstract This thesis examines, through life story interviews, how 4 adult women speak of their experiences when growing up in relative poverty. The aim is to uncover the mechanisms that become central in relation to the creation and reproduction of social problems, as portrayed in the life stories. Methodically this thesis rests upon a narrative approach, while Bourdieus theoretical framework constitutes the theoretical foundation. The narrative approach has enabled me to visualize patterns, coherences and tendencies in the empirical body, just as deviations and differences have been identified. Based on this and Bourdieus theoretical framework is has been possible to set forth a set of hypothesis’, factors and processes, which have been significant to the respondents both during their childhood and subsequently in their adult lives. The analysis in this thesis indicates that the lack or presence of capital forms among the parents has been important to the way, in which the lives of the respondents have been formed. All the respondents point to their parents lack or possession of symbolic capital as an essential aspect. Based on the empirical data it can be concluded in this thesis that there is a clear connection between lack or presence of symbolic capital in and recognition of the parents, and the way the respondents have seen their chances for an attractive place in the recognition hierarchy during their childhoods. This points toward the fact that the sum of symbolic capital is transferred directly from parents to children to a great extent, and it is thus central to the reproduction of social inequality. The respondents speak of the significance of symbolic capital both in relation to interaction with groups of friends, experiences with teachers and school management and as regards accessible choices in their adult lives. Overall the analysis draws a picture of the mechanisms that are central to the creation and reproduction of social inequality. The picture that is drawn shows that both the societal and institutional conditions, which the respondents knowingly or unknowingly talk about in connection with growing up in relative poverty, are crucial to the creation of internal structures in the shape of mental schemes for perceiving and classifying both themselves and their surroundings. Concretely the life stories point out that the dominant assumptions in society as regards which industries and educations are prestigious, are also dominating the way the respondents view themselves, their abilities and possibilities. However also the institutional conditions prove important. The analysis shows that when the societal and institutional conditions are internalized in the respondents, they become vital to the creation and reproduction of social inequality, because they function bodily on a subconscious and unreflected level. In practice the childhood experiences are internalized and become part of the human habitus, thus influencing the strategies a person chooses through life, which again influences which choices appear natural in relation to fx education. In conclusion the life stories are to a great extent pointing towards the significance of structural conditions as central mechanisms in the creation and reproduction of social inequality.
Antal sider108
Udgivende institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 17149656