Sickle cell, habitual dys-positions and fragile dispositions: young people with sickle cell at school
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AbstractThe experiences of young people living with a sickle cell disorder in schools in England are reported through a thematic analysis of forty interviews, using Bourdieu’s notions of field, capital and habitus. Young people with sickle cell are found to be habitually dys-positioned between the demands of the clinic for health maintenance through self-care and the field of the school, with its emphases on routines, consistent attendance and contextual demands for active and passive pupil behaviour. The tactics or dispositions that young people living with sickle cell can then employ, during strategy and struggle at school, are therefore fragile: they work only contingently, transiently or have the unintended consequences of displacing other valued social relations. The dispositions of the young people with sickle cell are framed by other social struggles: innovations in school procedures merely address aspects of sickle cell in isolation and are not consolidated into comprehensive policies; mothers inform, liaise, negotiate and advocate in support of a child with sickle cell but with limited success. Reactions of teachers and peers to sickle cell have the enduring potential to drain the somatic, cultural and social capital of young people living with sickle cell
CitationDyson, S., Atkin, K., Culley, L., Dyson, S. and Evans, H. (2011) 'Sickle cell, habitual dys-positions and fragile dispositions: young people with sickle cell at school', Sociology of Health & Illness, 33 (3), pp.465-483.
JournalSociology of Health & Illness