23 SES 11 B, Radical Social Theory for Radical Times: Putting Theory to Work in Educational Research I
Symposium, Part 1
Many educational researchers find Bourdieu’s concepts attractive and useful, though there is great variability in what we might call ‘depth in use’. Undoubtedly, some usage remains superficial or ‘habitual’ (Hey, 2003; Reay, 2004). This paper begins with an overview of an ESRC-funded study (see e.g. James et al, 2010; Reay, Crozier and James, 2011) that investigated ‘against the grain’ choices of secondary school made by white middle class families in three English cities. Having located practices of school choice in the international context (Forsey et al, 2008), we looked at motives, experiences and outcomes. The paper sets out how the study used Bourdieusian theory-as-method to develop an account of practices at both the individual and the collective levels. In rejecting mainstream indicators of quality, the families concerned avoided one very common form of misrecognition, but at the same time other forms of misrecognition remained key to their engagements with education. The analysis shows how actions that are ethically driven at the individual level can contribute to the collective reproduction of existing relations of advantage and disadvantage. I argue that the approach taken offers a critical purchase on the individualising discourse of ‘choice’, leading to an important but uncomfortable analysis.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
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Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
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