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This paper examines how high levels of social–cultural connectedness and academic excellence, inflected by gender and social class, constitute a particular school habitus of ‘assured optimism’ at an elite Scottish girls’ school. In Bourdieuian terms, Dalrymple is a ‘forcing ground’ for the ‘intense cultivation’ of a particular privileging habitus. The paper analyses the ‘institutional’ habitus of this particular private girls’ school, drawing on headteacher interviews and student survey and focus group data, and relevant documents. The school is currently re-positioning itself to educate girls for global professional futures through the production of a desired habitus and certain spatio-temporalities.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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