Document Type : Research Paper


1 English Language, Foreign Language Department, Sheikhbahaee University, Isfahan, Iran.

2 English Language Centre, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.



This research study was conducted to investigate the most representative characteristics of the habitus developed by academically successful Iranian English majors. Learning a second or foreign language, like many sociocultural practices, from a Bourdieusian perspective, is informed by the interrelation between habitus, field, and cultural capital (CC). Within an exploratory qualitative design, utilizing the Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method of both semi-structured and unstructured one-on-one interviews, seven academically successful BA students majoring in English language studies were studied in an attempt to explore their CC and habitus. Each participant was interviewed in 3 separate sessions. The constructivist grounded theory method was adopted to analyze the collected data. Constructed on 75 initial codes, 22 focused codes, 10 categories, and 4 themes, two major themes were most relevantly indicative of theoretical associations with the research problem. The findings suggest that the habitus developed by the English majors in this study was representative of their accumulation of certain forms of CC. Their habitus seemed to have been developed under the influence of their interaction with the mediatory field of learning and majoring in a foreign language. In an exigency-driven social quest for certain forms of cultural capital, the participants’ habitus were majorly characterized and influenced by their strategic accumulation of institutional and social capital, their field-oriented social identities, and their strategic administration of CC in the field. The knowledge developed by the findings of this study can provide useful sociocultural insights into academic achievements of English language majors.


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