This edited volume explores how Stephen Ball’s work has shaped the field of the sociology of education worldwide.
Written by internationally based researchers who are Ball’s former PhD students, it draws on different strands of his work to show what it means to think, write, and do research inspired by Ball’s theory, methodology, and epistemology. The contributions revolve around a wide range of themes including: the ethics of doing educational research, disability studies, the bio-politics of the child’s soul, lived experiences of marginalisation in education, educating migrant and refugee women in the borderlands, and post-Brexit reflections on the Bologna process. Chapters draw on different lines of thought from the corpus of a significant and influential figure in the sociology of education to present, explicate, and discuss a wide range of research projects, themes, theoretical directions, as well as methodological approaches in the field of the sociology of education today.
More than celebrating Ball’s scholarship, this volume shows new and innovative directions in the sociology of education. It will be highly relevant reading for researchers, scholars, and students in the sociology of education, educational policy, and politics and educational theory.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Diffractions: Thinking with Stephen J. Ball
Part I: Theoretical and epistemological diffractions
1. Doing Sociology of Education differently: An essay about a study on the educational trajectories of youths from the villas of Buenos Aires
Pablo del Monte
2. Character as calculable: The performative and biopolitical management of the child’s soul
Bronwen MA Jones and Patrick Bailey
3. Knowledge exchange in the social sciences: Knowledge ecosystems, networks and the social enterprising of research
Eleni Stamou, Alis Oancea, and Anne Edwards
Part II: Thinking and acting in the margins
4. Choice, Pathways and Transitions 20 years on
Sharon Gewirtz and Meg Maguire
5. Trapped in educational marginalisation: ‘I just drifted away’
6. Borderlands and radical hope: Beyond academic philanthropy
Part III: Educational policies
7. Education policy; from social and consensual to self-interested and individual
John Clay and Rosalyn George
8. Policy and the ethics of doing disability: Working within and beyond an inclusive norm in the English higher education
9. The Bologna Process: A policy discourse evolution
Part IV: Reflections
10. Passion and education: A reflection on working with Stephen J. Ball
11. The exclusionary every day: A journey in London schools, struggling to include all children in their primary school education
What is it I have become? An afterword
Stephen J. Ball
Maria Tamboukou is Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of East London, UK, and holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2022–2025).