Journal article

Students' Academic Habitus and Its Relation to Family Capital: A Latent Class Approach to Inequalities among Secondary School Students


  • 2023
Published in:
  • Sociological Inquiry. - Wiley. - 2023, p. 1-31
English Habitus plays a crucial part in Bourdieu’s theory of sociocultural reproduction for understanding the persistence of inequalities in the education system. According to Bourdieu, students from homes that are heavily equipped with cultural capital develop a specific kind of habitus, that is, modes of perceiving, thinking, and acting, remarkably well-adjusted to the expectations of teachers and educational institutions. However, research has rarely tried to measure what we refer to as students’ academic habitus to highlight the different types of habitus that students might express toward school. Drawing on data from secondary students in Luxembourg, we employ a latent class approach to operationalize, measure, and explore students’ academic habitus. Our investigation comprises three main steps: First, we develop a multifaceted understanding of students’ habitus integrating diverse dispositions toward school and learning; second, we identify different academic habitus types: the habitus of excellence, the habitus of goodwill and loyalty, and the habitus of disengagement. Third, we examine how the three habitus types relate to different axes of inequality: socioeconomic status, cultural capital, family employment, gender, and immigrant background. Our typology of habitus bridges the qualitative literature on habitus with existing quantitative operationalizations. The findings show that students with a habitus of excellence are likely tohail from families with favorable parental employment and high cultural involvement.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de travail social, politiques sociales et développement global
  • English
Social work
Open access status
Persistent URL

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