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Perception of Misbehavior: Understanding the Process of Labeling and the Role of Cultural Capital in the Disciplinary Process

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Educators face multiple forms of misbehavior in the classroom on a regular basis. This ethnographic research project addresses the difficulties encountered by teachers in a high school setting, giving consideration to the decision-making process in determining whether to admonish students for misbehavior and whether to issue a referral to an administrator, which holds the possibility of more severe punishment. This research demonstrates the continuing importance of Labeling and Social Reproduction Theories in understanding the process of classroom management, emphasizing the importance of the teachers’ and administrators’ perception of whether the student demonstrates the acquisition and possession of cultural capital.

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    The research protocol approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board requires confidentiality. Further disclosure of demographic data of the surrounding community has the potential to compromise the identity of the participating school district.


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Correspondence to Cynthia S. Glass.

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Glass, C.S. Perception of Misbehavior: Understanding the Process of Labeling and the Role of Cultural Capital in the Disciplinary Process. Urban Rev 46, 372–394 (2014).

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  • Labeling
  • Social reproduction
  • Cultural capital
  • Misbehavior
  • Discipline