Theory as Method in Research: On Bourdieu, social theory and education, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Theory as Method in Research

On Bourdieu, social theory and education, 1st Edition

Edited by Mark Murphy, Cristina Costa


204 pages

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Paperback: 9781138900349
pub: 2015-09-16
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pub: 2015-09-21
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While education researchers have drawn on the work of a wide diversity of theorists over the years, much contemporary theory building in these areas has revolved around the work of Pierre Bourdieu. Theory as Method in Research develops the capacity of students, researchers and teachers to successfully put Bourdieu’s ideas to work in their own research and prepare them effectively for conducting Masters and Doctoral scholarships.

Structured around four core themes, this book provides a range of research case studies exploring educational identities, educational inequalities, school leadership and management, and research in teacher education. Issues as diverse as Chinese language learning and identity, school leadership in Australia and the school experience of Afro-Trinidadian boys, are covered, intertwined with a set of innovative approaches to theory application in education research.

This collection brings together, in one comprehensive volume, a set of education researchers who place Pierre Bourdieu’s key concepts such as habitus, capital and field at the centre of their research methodologies. Full of insight and innovation, the book is an essential read for practitioners, student teachers, researchers and academics who want to harness the potential of Bourdieu’s core concepts in their own work, thereby helping to bridge the gap between theory and method in education research.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Bourdieu and education research (Mark Murphy and Cristina Costa)
  2. Section 1: Researching Educational Identities

  3. Negotiating Chineseness through Chinese heritage language learning: the role of habitus (Guanglun Michael Mu)
  4. The production of identity capital through school (Jo Warin)
  5. Doxa, digital scholarship and the academy (Cristina Costa and Mark Murphy)
  6. Section 2: Researching Equity in Education

  7. Operationalizing Bourdieu, interrogating intersectionality and the underachievement of primary level Afro-Trinidadian boys (Ravi Rampersad)
  8. Inequalities, parental social capital and children’s education (Maria Papapolydorou)
  9. Doing critical educational ethnography with Bourdieu (Katie Fitzpatrick and Stephen May)
  10. Section 3: Researching Educational Leadership and Management

  11. Mobilising Bourdieu to think anew about educational leadership research (Scott Eacott)
  12. Narrative inquiry as a methodology for embedding Bourdieu’s tools (Bruce Kloot)
  13. Section 4: Researching Teacher Education

  14. Turning a Bourdieuian lens on the teaching of English in primary schools: linguistic field, linguistic habitus and linguistic capital (Naomi Flynn)
  15. Stimulating conversations between theory and methodology in mathematics teacher education research: Inviting Bourdieu into self-study research (Kathleen Nolan)
  16. Conclusion

  17. Conclusion: Method as theory: (re)exploring the intellectual context of education research (Cristina Costa and Mark Murphy)

About the Editors

Mark Murphy is Reader in Education and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow, UK.

Cristina Costa is a Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning in the School of Education, University of Strathclyde, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research