Double Estrangement, Embodying a Reflexive Habitus: The Experience Of Minority Group Boys In Three Inner City Primary Schools In Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: Booth 66
Oral Presentation
Lindsey GARRATT , Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Double Estrangement, Embodying a Reflexive Habitus: The experience of minority group boys in three inner city primary schools in Dublin, Republic of Ireland

This paper introduces the concept of 'double estrangement' which is based within a somatic Bourdieusian framework and draws from DuBois concept of 'double consciousness' and the work of Abdelmalek Sayad. Drawing on a large qualitative dataset I will argue that migrant group boys in Dublins north inner city tend to experience their body image with unease, as somewhat problematic 'shameful bodies', through which they suffer from a break with their embodied selves and a disruption of their internal time as they are pushed between habitual and reflexive action. The dual elements of 'double estrangement' will be outlined, firstly, it will be contended that visible difference and dispositions of the body mark migrant boys out as not belonging and this provokes a tendency for them to feel constantly on display and judged through their bodies. Secondly, I will argue this has the effect of heightening a boy’s self-consciousness of their body as an object of value within peer interactions and this reflection estranges them from their habitual embodied being. This paper will conclude by illustrating how double estrangement acts as a form of symbolic violence within the ‘child world’ of the school, spaces in which the attention of children is on their peers instead of authority figures (Hill 1997). I will argue the development of a ‘reflective habitus’ or habitual disposition to reflect on one’s body, estranges migrant origin boys from the embodied orthodoxy of the child world field and this is used to justify inequalities between boys and disguise racism within encounters.