On Tuesday 25th February 2014 the BSA Bourdieu Study Group hosted its first event of 2014: Bourdieu in Migration and ‘Race’/Ethnicity Studies at the BSA meeting room in London.
Bookings for the event proofed popular and the booking had to be closed early. The event was structured around the presentations of two key note speakers: Prof. Karen O’Reilly (Loughborough University) and Dr. Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths), three papers – following the call for abstracts – Dr Michaela Benson (Goldsmiths), Derron Wallace (University of Cambridge) and Dr Barbara Samaluk (University of Greenwich), as well as three workshops.
Dr. Nirmal Puwar commented on the title of the event and how often UK academics primarily see Bourdieu as a class theorist. She stressed the importance of using an intersectionality approach and the necessity of students to overcome the obsession of ‘which variable is most significant: social-class, ‘race’, or gender?’ With the prevalence of class is itself being a significant insight into in British sociology.
Prof. Karen O’Reilly spoke about applying a Bourdieusian approach in hers and Caroline Oliver’s case study of expatriates living in the Costa del Sol, Spain. In this study, Bourdieu’s methodological approach as well as his sociological concepts were drawn upon to help understand the cultural processes and the reproduction of the economic positions of the emigrants. She argued that Bourdieu’s attempts to overcome dualism and see the interrelation between structure and action proved useful in their analyses of this migration case study.
The three papers showed the variety of ways a Bourdieusian approach can be used to analyse a diversity of case studies in ‘race’, education and migration research.
- Dr Michaela Benson (Goldsmiths) Embodying white privilege in lifestyle migration: habitus, field and the mutability of capitals (Michaela Benson Abstract)
- Derron Wallace (University of Cambridge) Between ‘Bad’ Blacks & ‘Better’ Blacks?: Exploring the Role of Black Cultural Capital in the Educational Experiences of Afro-Caribbean Youth in London and New York (Derron Wallace Abstract)
- Dr Barbara Samaluk (University of Greenwich) Whiteness, ethnic privilege and migration: a Bourdieuian framework (Barbara Samaluk Abstract)
- Group one: Prof. Karen O’Reilly – for those interested in ethnographic methods and privilege forms of migration
- Group two: Dr. Nirmal Puwar – for those interested in postcolonialism and ‘race’/ethnicity
- Group three: Prof. Derek Robbins – for those interested in Bourdieu’s theoretical framework and application of his concepts in the 21st century
The three workshops near the end of the day helped to tie the whole event together generating discussion and debates around the key note and paper presentations. They also gave delegates the opportunity to consider their own research in relation to the themes that were raised throughout the day in addition to giving them a chance to ask questions about their own projects.
The study group received lots of positive feedback about the event and acquired many new subscriptions to its membership email list. Many delegates also commented on the welcoming environment of the event as well as the sociability of the pre-event dinner.