John Constable was my first art teacher: Construction of desire in a working-class artist/academic

Broadhead, Samantha (2021) John Constable was my first art teacher: Construction of desire in a working-class artist/academic. In: The Lives of Working-Class Academics: Getting ideas above your station. Emerald Publishing. (In Press)

Abstract

The development of ‘desire’ in a working-class artist/academic is explored through an analysis of the reminiscences between the author and her mother. It is argued that the notion of cultural capital implies a deficit in working-class subjects that is deterministic and does not fully explain those who are successful in the art world and/or academia. Rather than thinking about works of art and art practice in terms of cultural capital, they are conceptualised as resources that can have existential significance for some people. This is because early interactions with the arts enable people to connect with the world and at the same time enable them to recognise their own desires and talents while learning to think critically about their lives. The findings of this study suggest a nuanced approach based on cultural assets and resources rather than cultural capital should be considered in educational policy and practice.

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