1st Edition

Theorizing Social Class and Education

Edited By Diane Reay, Carol Vincent Copyright 2014

    Theorizing Social Class and Education presents a selection of writing on class analysis within sociology of education as it has evolved over the last decade both in the UK, and internationally. Moving from a narrow focus on class position and categorisation, to a much broader view on behaviours, attitudes, identities and practices, the contributors explore and theorize the ways in which particular individuals develop their perspectives and understandings of the social world, and the role education plays in shaping these.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

    Introduction Diane Reay and Carol Vincent

    1. Class, gender, (hetero)sexuality and schooling: paradoxes within working-class girls’ engagement with education and post-16 aspirations Louise Archer, Anna Halsall and Sumi Hollingworth

    2. The moral dimension of class and gender identity-making: poverty and aggression in a secondary school in the city of Buenos Aires Analía Inés Meo

    3. Teachers and the emotional dimensions of class in resource-affected rural Australia Barbara Pini, Robin Price and Paula McDonald

    4. Social class and participation in further education: evidence from the Youth Cohort Study of England and Wales Ron Thompson

    5. White middle-class parents, identities, educational choice and the urban comprehensive school: dilemmas, ambivalence and moral ambiguity Gill Crozier, Diane Reay, David James, Fiona Jamieson, Phoebe Beedell, Sumi Hollingworth and Katya Williams

    6. Devising inequality: a Bernsteinian analysis of high-stakes testing and social reproduction in education Wayne W. Au

    7. ‘It's all becoming a habitus’: beyond the habitual use of habitus in educational research Diane Reay

    8. Working-class boys, educational success and the misrecognition of working-class culture Nicola Ingram

    9. From sociological fictions to social fictions: some Bourdieusian reflections on the concepts of ‘institutional habitus’ and ‘family habitus’ Will Atkinson

    10. Between the estate and the state: struggling to be a ‘good’ mother Carol Vincent, Stephen J. Ball and Annette Braun


    Diane Reay is Professor of Education at Cambridge University, UK. She is a sociologist working in the area of education but is also interested in broader issues of the relationship between the self and society, the affective and the material. Her priority has been to engage in research with a strong social justice agenda that addresses social inequalities of all kinds.

    Carol Vincent is a Professor in the Faculty of Policy and Society at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. She is a sociologist, with a particular research interests in the relationship between parents and educational institutions and how these relationships are mediated by social class and ethnicity.