Capital, culture and community: understanding school engagement in a challenging context

Donald Gillies, Alastair Wilson, Rebecca Soden, Shirley Gray, Irene McQueen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Engagement in learning is seen as a key to success at school. The article reports on a study into the ways in which one school has attempted to engage with its community in an area of multiple deprivation. Using Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital, the article explores the ways in which school management aims to boost students’ embodied cultural capital as a means towards achieving academic success, and looks at the perceptions of key informants and school students on these issues. The report shows the considerable efforts schools in such areas need to expend, the economic challenges, and the difficulties and dilemmas which students often encounter in trying to negotiate the cultural divide between home and school.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalImproving Schools
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • cultural capital
  • deprivation
  • engagement


Dive into the research topics of 'Capital, culture and community: understanding school engagement in a challenging context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this