Capital Building at Camp: A Bourdieusian Analysis of a Summer Camp for Marginalized Girls

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Macquarrie, Isabel
Youth , Bourdieu , Cultural Capital , Camp , Social Capital , Habitus
This study employs a Bourdieusian theoretical framework to investigate capital building at Skylight—an overnight summer camp for girls seven to fifteen who have experienced trauma and/or abuse. Using participant observation and semi-structured interviews, I explore whether camp can help girls accumulate social and cultural capital, or facilitate habitus transformation. Results suggest that building social capital enables the development of cultural capital, which may aid the girls in their academic and social endeavours even beyond the camp context. Capital building was encouraged by three specific features of Skylight: 1) cohabitation, 2) a single-gender and 3) shared experiences of adversity. The paper closes with a discussion of implications for theory and program implementations.
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