Reclaiming bodily dispositions through the humanities: homeless people learning
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This paper examines data drawn from interviews with homeless people who were undertaking a Clemente programme offered by the Australian Catholic University in the Vincentian Village in East Sydney. The Clemente programme, conceptualised by Shorris, is based on the belief that an education in the humanities empowers people to engage in a more controlled way with the world in which they live, and that they will therefore be less likely to react simply to contexts and events. Two of the striking things about the interview data were the rejection of 'vocational courses' and the way in which the learners referred to changes in their bodies that flowed from the humanities programme: the way they walked, the straightness of their backs, together with the metaphor of climbing. The present paper seeks to interpret these and other changes in terms of Mauss's and Bourdieu's conceptions of habitus, bodily hexis and dispositions, and possible implications for teaching and learning in vocational education.
Journal of Vocational Education and Training
© 2007 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.