Melissa Swauger, PhD

This workshop examines how gender, race, and social class work together to influence aspirations and opportunities. Data gathered from a sample of working class, white and African American girls will be used as a case study to understand how economic, social, and cultural capital influences life chances and social mobility.


  1. Define social class from a sociological perspective.
  2. Explain Bourdieu's forms of capital - economic, social, cultural.
  3. Discuss how class matters in aspiration formation.
  4. Interpret how families, schools, and communities reproduce social class.
  5. Distinguish how individuals enact agencies to defy social class reproduction patterns.
Target Audience: Counselors, educators. Intermediate level. CE credits offered = 1.5 contact hours