Mapping [Capital v.2.0]: An Encounter of Thoughts

Mapping [Capital v.2.0]: An Encounter of Thoughts

Lars Bang (Aalborg University, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6603-0.ch020
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This chapter explores the benefits of a theoretical and methodological encounter between Bourdieu's concepts of capital, Deleuze's line of thought, and Marxist activity theory, particularly the Russian strand by Ilyenkov and Leontjev. Bourdieu, Deleuze, and Ilyenkov share a common denominator in Marx. In a contemporary light, Bourdieu's sociological concepts reflect an effort to readdress issues of class and practice as raised by Marx. The author claims that development of Marxist activity theory benefits from such an encounter, especially in educational research. The expanded concept of capital is exemplified through the optic of an educational Danish project. The author intends to show how the expanded concept of capital resonates with the theoretical framework of activity theory. He also shows how development of Marxist activity theory benefits from the methodological construct of capital. Bourdieuian and Deleuzian perspectives lead to the construction of a new structural map of events.
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Uptake In Science Education: A Question Of Capital

A literary reference to Shakespearian drama introduces the theme of this chapter, that is, human activity related to notions of capital, value, and ownership and descriptions of how they are connected.

This kindness will I show.

Go with me to a notary, seal me there

Your single bond, and, in a merry sport,

If you repay me not on such a day,

In such a place, such sum or sums as are

Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit

Be nominated for an equal pound

Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken

In what part of your body pleaseth me.

(Shylock, Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare, 2003 p.89)

This is 2014 and a Danish administrative region suffers from a structural educational problem. Problems of low uptake into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) begin in upper secondary schools (gymnasium/STX). The problems continue as poor uptake into university. The facts and figures of the studied region do not match the desired political goal of uptake in tertiary education. There are specific social problems in neighbouring municipalities regarding parental background and educational mobility (Lange, Johannesen & Henriksen, 2010). A regional council associated with the troubled educational system has funded the Youth-to-Youth Project. The purpose is to bridge transfer from primary school to upper secondary school and from upper secondary school to university studies. The goal of the bridging effort is to provide youths with lacking interest and performance in STEM and tertiary education unlikely, a new foreground (Alrø, Skovmose & Valero, 2007) related to information and experiences of studying at upper secondary school and university levels means. To implement this scaffolding project, a network was established between teachers and classes from upper primary school (seventh to eighth grades) to upper secondary school, as was a network between students in upper secondary school and university mentors. The main project idea was that relations between youths ‘one step ahead’ in the educational system have a potential to provide another new insights into what it means to study in upper secondary school and at university. The intent was an attempt at dealing with reproduction in the educational system, especially related to STEM areas, facilitating an educational trajectory. This is 2014 and a structural event, an uneven distribution and positioning of interest, has occurred – but only on the surface of the structures, substructures, and strata of a spatio-temporal location in Denmark: In such a place, such sum or sums as are. Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit. Be nominated for an equal pound (Shakespeare, 2003).

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