Multiplicity and Social Reproduction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Bourdieu’s model of educational reproduction is primarily about class. It may seem, then, that research showing how various factors can offset or modify the apparent effects of class on educational outcomes – not just gender or ethnicity but ‘family effects’, ‘school effects’ and ‘neighbourhood effects’ – are troublesome for the model. However, Bourdieu’s original synoptic diagram of reproduction contains all manner of caveats and allowances that can accommodate such findings – they were just never developed beyond quick acknowledgement. The purpose of this chapter is to engage in that development work. It considers, in theoretical terms, the interplay of class with myriad factors in shaping children’s relationships to the education system. In doing so, it integrates and builds on some of Bourdieu’s concepts and ideas developed later in his career, including the notion of ‘field’ and the concept of ‘social surface’. The result is a revised model of educational reproduction that still places class at the heart of the process but builds multiplicity of social positioning into the picture more rigorously. This model should then provide educational researchers with a variety of tools for making sense of observed deviations from modal tendencies in quantitative and qualitative data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBloomsbury Handbook of Bourdieu and Education
EditorsGarth Stahl, Michael Mu, Pere Ayling, Elliot Weininger
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


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