Educational Leadership and Pierre Bourdieu: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Educational Leadership and Pierre Bourdieu

1st Edition

By Pat Thomson


170 pages

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Pierre Bourdieu was one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. He argued for, and practiced, rigorous and reflexive scholarship, interrogating the inequities and injustices of modern societies. Through a lifetime’s explication of the ways in which schooling both produces and reproduces the status quo, Bourdieu offered a powerful critique and method of analysis of the history of schooling, and of contemporary educational polices and trends.

Though frequently used in educational research, Bourdieu’s work has had much less take up in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration. Educational Leadership and Pierre Bourdieu argues that ELMA scholars have much to gain by engaging more thoroughly with his work.  The book explains each of the key terms in Bourdieu’s thinking tool kit, showing how the tripartite concepts of field, habitus and capitals offer a way through which to understand the interaction of structure and agency, and the limits on the freedom of an individual – in this case an educational leader – to act.

Educational Leadership and Pierre Bourdieu offers an analysis of dominant trends in ELMA research, examining the kinds of questions asked, projects undertaken and methods used. It provides alternative questions and methods based on a Bourdieusian approach, further readings and a range of exemplars of the application of these tools. The book will be of interest to those whose primary focus is the utility of Bourdieu’s social theory.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Introducing Pierre Bourdieu 3. Why Bring Bourdieu to the Study of Educational Leadership? 4. Applying Bourdieu to ELMA 5. Applying Bourdieu to ELMA Helen Gunter 6. Applying Bourdieu to ELMA 7. Thinking with and against Bourdieu

About the Author

Pat Thomson PSM, PhD, FAcSS is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of the Free State, South Africa, Deakin University, Australia and The University of Iceland.

About the Series

Critical Studies in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration

This series brings major theorists from the social and political sciences to critical studies of educational leadership, management and administration. The books provide accessible introductions to key theories combined with explanations of what they offer that will deepen, enliven and enrich studies of schools, further and higher education and adult and community education settings.

Topics covered are those which affect the everyday practices of leaders - social justice, media, markets, surveillance, values, communication, entrepreneurialism, risk management and accountability. The series provides theoretical and methodological resources for those who engaged in formal study of educational leadership, management and administration. It also offers alternative approaches to naming, framing and acting for those who are engaged in the practice of educational leadership, management or administration, or who are providing training and policy for practising educational leaders.

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