Cultural Capital and the Choir: A study of social stratification and the accumulation of cultural capital within choir schools and the Anglican choral

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sociology


For my PhD research, I will produce an ethnographic study of two choir schools: King's College School, Cambridge and Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford. For the first part of my study, I will apply Bourdieu's theories of cultural capital as a mechanism for social advancement alongside his theory of habitus. I will also apply Bourdieu's ideas outlined in his 1977 study of symbolic power and relationships within education and the reproduction of social class in schooling, to the choristers in the school. For the second part of my study, I will examine the potential implications of these social issues within choir schools for the 'high' Anglican strand of the Church of England. I will look at the relationship between school and college and explore how the reproduction of social stratification within the school may filter through to the Anglican institution they are attached to. For this research, I will carry out interviews with relevant members and choristers of the schools and the colleges, alongside observation of rehearsals and classroom teaching. For the second part of the research, I will attempt to use a quantitative survey method with those who attend the services to explore whether people have spiritual or socio-cultural motives in their attendance.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2094720 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2018 01/10/2022 Elizabeth Mari Preece