Life capital: An epistemic and methodological lens for TESOL Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper draws on one of Pierre Bourdieu’s core dimensions of social theory: the notion of capital. Bourdieu's work has percolated various academic domains and transcended disciplinary boundaries, thereby leading to new vistas and questions. It is in the spirit of generating “new vistas” that this paper offers considerations which may serve as an epistemic and methodological drive to reinvigorate our social research practices within TESOL. In particular, I argue for a new application of Bourdieu's sociological concept to account more holistically for the complexities of TESOL research practices, and I present a proposal that may support the TESOL research community in addressing the “realities” and “dilemmas” of our field (McKinley & Rose, 2017). Ultimately, life capital will act as a catalyst to promote a fresh perspective on our research—a lens which, in the long run, may yield TESOL research that fully acknowledges, values, and celebrates the humanness of our inquiries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1409
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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