Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
GRK Doing Transitions
Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft
Abteilung Allgemeine Pädagogik
Münzgasse 26, R 202
D – 72070 Tübingen
Flora Petrik works as a research fellow and lecturer at the Department of Foundations of Education at the Institute for Educational Science, University of Tübingen. She studied Educational Science, German Studies and Comparative Literature in Vienna and Jyväskylä and has been an associate member of the DFG graduate program “Doing Transitions” since January 2020.
In her dissertation project, she investigates the questions of how students acquire an academic habitus, which (potentially empowering) spaces the university opens up for habitual transformations and how these processes can be methodically grasped. Her other areas of focus in research and teaching include social inequality in schools and universities as well as epistemological and methodological issues.
Education is socially inherited. Social science studies following Pierre Bourdieu commonly declare – in addition to lacking financial resources and admission barriers – habitus that differ from the implicit expectations of educational institutions as responsible. Studies on habitus frequently refer to the dynamic moments of habitual transitions, but empirical work on how these processes take place can be considered as unexplored territory so far. Within the framework of my doctoral thesis, these interactive processes of acculturation and habitual transformation in the context of students entering higher education will be analysed from a multi-method perspective. In particular, the appropriation of an academic habitus among ‘first generation students’ is of interest: How can these processes and complex dimensions of habitual transitions be reconstructed? Which processes of addressing and being addressed become significant when transitioning to university? In which life scenes and biographical experiences do these transformations take place? These questions will be addressed using various qualitative research approaches: biographical narrative interviews, participatory observations and autoethnographies. Combining these different methodological perspectives allows to create a new approach of habitus research by understanding transitions as contradicting processes of appropriation and adaptation. Thus, both the transition in higher education – understood as an interrelationship between expectations produced by discourse, the institutional processing of these expectations and the individual ‘doing’ of habitus transformations – as well as the dynamics of the habitual transition itself come into focus.