28 SES 13, Critical Sociological Theories of Educational Leadership and Their Methodological and Practice Implications in Denmark, Italy, England and Australia
It is hardly surprising that Pierre Bourdieu, one of the twentieth century’s most influential social scientists, has had considerable take up in educational research (Thomson, 2017). However, this is not the case in the ELMA field, where there are relatively few applications of his thinking tools. In this paper, I suggest that Bourdieu’s connected concepts of field, capitals, habitus, logics of practice, doxa and misrecognition are not to be laid over empirical data like a tablecloth. Rather, they are most useful in orienting the research question, the research design, the practice of the research and researcher reflexivity. In evidencing this argument, I offer a detailed examination of 208 recently published papers in six leading ELMA journals to show the narrow range of methods used and the preponderance of leader-focused and effectiveness/improvement studies (Thomson, 2017 in press). I use this corpus to illustrate the ways in which Bourdieusian onto-methodology produces different socially and historically situated research agendas and practices.
Thomson, P 2017 Educational leadership and Pierre Bourdieu. London: Routledge Thomson, P 2017, in press A little more madness in our methods?: A snapshot of how the educational leadership management and administration field conducts research Journal of Educational Administration and History
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