Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Dale, PRW., Stahl, G., 2015.

DJ and MC Habitus and 'Skillz' in Peer-led Learning Cultures

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Bourdieu and the Sociology of Music Education
Brief Description/Editor(s):Burnard, P., Hofvander Trulsson, Y., Soderman, Y.
Publisher:Ashgate Publishing/Routledge
Pagination:pp. 127-142

The aim of this chapter is to use Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical tools to explore identity
practices in relation to musical learning practices for working-class boys experiencing
extreme levels of disadvantage. In order to expand our understanding, we draw on recent
theorizing around the relationship between gender identity and habitus (McNay, 1999;
Thorpe, 2010; Adkins, 2003; Coles, 2009) to show how the masculine habitus was
significantly altered through the musical practices of MCing and DJing. While boys are
often characterized as reluctant learners (Mac an Ghaill, 1988; Jackson, 2003), this
cannot be understood without reference to the immediate context, as habitus always
operates in relation to field and is where identity is formed (Reay, 2010). In our analysis,
we identify three interrelated key features to explore how identity is influenced by the
learning culture. After a discussion of the usefulness of Bourdieu's tools in our research,
the chapter concludes with some of the implications of this analysis for working with
disengaged boys.