Elite identities in high schools: entitlement, pragmatism, a sense of best place, and apoliticism

Ilanit Pinto-Dror, Avihu Shoshana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Based on 20 semi-structured interviews with high school students in elite schools in Israel, this article examines two key research questions: How do students in elite high schools define and experience their identity? Do these identities contribute to the production and maintenance of privilege, and if so, how? To examine these questions, we relied on theoretical and empirical reports suggesting privilege to be examined as identity. The study’s main findings are organised around four themes that express the elite identity or the privileged habitus of the students: three unique characteristics of the students’ sense of entitlement; pragmatism; a sense of best place; and apoliticism, which grant a sense of invisibility. The Discussion analyzes these characteristics as components of identity that reveal how class privilege operates and is enacted. Moreover, the Discussion describes how elite identity and its features serve as a mechanism for constructing and maintaining social inequality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Papers in Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • cultural capital
  • Elite identity
  • elite school
  • habitus
  • sense of entitlement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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