Bourdieu and the transition to change in a field: The case of position-making in a changing field

Year: 2019

Author: Parveen, Reshma

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper is about position-making in relation to position-taking. Bourdieu presented the concept of position-taking as a stance or point of view of agents based on their position, disposition and a feel for the game. Position-making in this paper is conceptualized as an ongoing phenomena in a changing field particularly when the habitus falls out of place with the changing field creating hysteresis effect. This paper explores the positioning, dis-positioning and re-positioning of agents due to an external change in a schooling field. Data gathered for this study is from a state high school in a capital city in Australia, adopting the new Australian Curriculum. The school was at a transitional stage to this new curriculum as it was the first phase of the new curriculum. This initial phase of curriculum change enactment is an unsettled one and has the potential to present conditions of (dis)positioning and (re)positioning agents – hence the notion of position-making. It is argued that position-making is a means to develop a reflexive habitus for a complex post-modern world. Position-making also contributes to the notion of policy-making as opposed to the contested policy-taking. Exploring the agents’ position-making in a changing field provides evidence of breaking the doxa – the self-held truth of the field as well as a believe in the game.