Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Bourdieu‘s Habitus and the Educational Achievement of North Carolina‘s American Indian Students: An Empirical Investigation
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This quantitative study investigated Bourdieu's theoretical concept of habitus to determine whether it was predictive of the educational achievement patterns for American Indian students in North Carolina. More specifically, the study focused on the academic proficiency for a cohort of 1,495 American Indian students entering third grade in 1998 and examined their progression through the state's public schools through 2007, including the college retention for those students entering a higher-education institution in the UNC system following their graduation from high school. Bourdieu's theoretical concept of habitus was used as the lens addressing the major research question for the study: Do schools make a positive, significant difference in the educational achievement patterns for American Indian students, more specifically those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend public schools in North Carolina? Based on the results, patterns of proficiency provide evidence that over time, schools in North Carolina did not make a significant difference in the educational achievement for the cohort of American Indian students in this study. Higher socio-economic status (SES) American Indian students showed higher rates of academic proficiency on standardized math, reading, and high school assessments than students from lower SES backgrounds. Results also showed that American Indian students entering college are less likely to be retained after their freshman year in comparison to their non-Native peers. SES was the only strong predictor of freshman retention for American Indian students in the UNC System.