Cultural Competence In Assessment And Intervention With Ethnic Minorities: Some Perspectives From Psychology and Social Work

Symbolic Violence in the Assessment of Bilingual/Multicultural English Language Learners: A Critical Theoretical Perspective

Author(s): Reuben M. Castagno

Pp: 92-96 (5)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805130411101010092

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


This paper is an attempt to describe and analyz Pierre Bourdieu's radical sociological theory of symbolic violence and its relation to the assessment of bilingual/multicultural English language learners. The framework of critical theory provides a concrete way to understand and to recognize that human reproduction are outgrowths of human experience and therefore reflect human desire, conflict, and potential. In developing a theory of symbolic violence, Bourdieu attempted to specify the processes whereby, in all societies, order and social restraint are produced by indirect, cultural mechanism rather than by direct coercive social control. The theory of symbolic violence is systematically laid out in Bourdieu's book Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture first published in French in 1970. One of the central themes of the book was, creating a great controversy at every level even nowadays, that culture and education are central in the affirmation of differences (and the symbolic violence) between social classes and in the reproduction of those differences.

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