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Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy

Abstract

This paper explores students’ resistance to schooling and attempts to identify some of the factors contributing to that resistance and the efficacy of attempts to overcome it. It draws on Bourdieu’s theoretical framework to locate that resistance within the habitus of the student concerned. The concept of habitus is analysed below, but the paper is founded on the premise that habitus cannot be fully described in quantitative terms and that an effort of social imagination is required to interact with it. The device chosen here for this work is that of metaphor. The paper estimates the value of a metaphor to provide a new lens for analysing a problem of practice. The metaphor is that of education as a gift and the problem is the rejection of that gift by a significant number of young people to the extent that some of them break all connection with the formal education system at an early age.

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