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Article

Студенты с инвалидностью как агенты поля высшего образования: роль социального капитала

Ярская В. Н., Зайцев Д. В., Ярская-Смирнова Е. Р.

The article discusses the different types of capital of students with disabilities as agents in the field of higher education and analyzes the role of social capital in the transformation of practices in this field. The analysis is carried out on the basis of qualitative interviews conducted in five universities in Kazan, Novosibirsk, Samara, Saratov, Tomsk with students with motor, hearing, visual disabilities and with university professors with experience in admissions committees. A student with a disability enters a university as a pre-existing, given field. Universities can be conservative, inhibit change and impede students’ attempts to engage and participate in decision-making in higher education policies. Barriers to education can arise among students because of the impossibility or their inability to voice their posi-tion. The types of capital students with disabilities have are formed by social networks, laid by the school and the family, determined by the level of training and the economic status. Even students from wealthy families have difficulties acquiring cultural capital, since they must overcome their habitus of disability in themselves and in the perception of others. In the process of accumulating social capital, they change the structure of interactions and the nature of social ties, as well as self-esteem, thereby acquiring a qualitatively new cultural capital. Higher education becomes a resource of social and cul-tural capital not only for students with disabilities, but also for all field agents. Friendship, student interactions, everyday communication of students with professors and staff lead to the habitualization of the characteristics of students with disabilities. The actions of these and other field agents, their individual practices will simultaneously reproduce and to some extent transform the field