Bourdieu and Education









The French social Pierre Bourdieu became known as a key sociologist of education from the 1970s, contributing seminal books and articles to the ‘new’ sociology of education, which focuses on knowledge formation in the classroom and institutional relations. His own social background was modest, but he rose through the elite French schools to become a leading intellectual in the second half of the twentieth century. Much of his early work dealt with education, but this only formed part of a wider research corpus, which considered the French state and society as a whole: culture, politics, religion, law, economics, media, philosophy.




Bourdieu developed a highly original ‘theory of practice’ and set of conceptual thinking tools: habitus, field, culturalcapital. His approach sought to rise above conventional oppositions between subjectivism and objectivism. Structure as both structured andstructuring was a central principle to this epistemology.




Early studies of students focused the role that education played in social class reproduction, and the place of language in academic discourse. For him, pedagogy was a form of ‘symbolic violence’, played out in the differential holdings of ‘cultural capital’ that the students held with respect to each other and the dominant ethos of schooling. He undertook further extensive studies of French Higher Education and the elite training schools. He was involved in various education review committees and put forward a number of principles for change in curricula, all whilst accepting that genuine reform was extremely challenging. He catalogued some of the tensions and conflicts of contemporary education policy. Both his discoveries and conceptual terms still offer researchers powerful tools for analysing and understanding all national education systems, and the particular individual practical contexts within them.





Key words: Bourdieu, Education, Higher Education, Methodology, Epistemology, Cultural Capital , Policy, Curriculum.






Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) rose to become a leading international sociologist of the second half of the twentieth century.  However, he originally trained in philosophy and subsequently undertook extensive fieldwork in Algeria (see Grenfell, 2006) in which he used a number of structural anthropological tools. By combining philosophy and anthropology, he went on to develop his own very distinct version of sociology through a series of early studies on Education and Culture in the 1960s. In fact, he often employed the word ‘ethnology’ with reference to his own work, and it may be that it is better to consider him as a ‘social philosopher’. Central to his oeuvre is a methodological perspective that was grounded in what he referred to as his ‘theory of practice’. This theory attempted, in practice, to transcend the limitations of subjectivism and objectivism through working with a series of key concepts: habitus, field, cultural capital. In an English speaking world, he first came to prominence as a ‘sociologist of education’ in the 1970s. However, education was only one of the many institutions of the modern state he wrote about. Major empirical studies appeared in the 1980s  and 90s: on culture, gender, art, literature, politics, language, philosophy, etc.





Bourdieu was born on 1st August 1930 in Denguin, a tiny village in the Béarn region of the French Pyrénnées-Atlantiques, the South-west region of rural France (see Bourdieu, 1995; Grenfell, 2004b). His father was a ‘petit fonctionnaire’ in the P.T.T., the French post-office; although his background would seem to be that of an itinerant sharecropper turned postman. The family background was poor, and Bourdieu grew up speaking Gascon, a now moribund regional language, before starting elementary school. After primary schooling, Bourdieu was sent to a lycéein Pau as boarder. He then completed his secondary education at the lycée Louis Le Grand in Paris, before gaining a place in 1951 at the prestigious École normale supérieur (ENS) in Paris, and graduating as an Agrégé in philosophy in 1955.




He then taught in the lycée de Moulinsfor one year before going to Algeria in order to undertake his military service. Subsequently, 1958-60, he taught in the faculté de lettres in Alger. Returning to France in 1960, Bourdieu was employed as an assistant to Raymond Aron in Paris. He took up a teaching post at Lille University (1961-64). On 2nd November, 1962, he married Marie-Claire Brizzard with whom he subsequently had three sons (Jérôme, Emmanuel and Laurent). In 1964, with the support of leading French intellectuals – Aron, Levi-Strauss and Braudel – Bourdieu was nominated as Director of studies at the École pratique des hautes études (known, from 1977, as the École des hautes études en science sociales– EHESS); he also took over as director of the Centre de Sociologie Européénne.




In 1964, he became editor of the ‘Le Sens Commun’series published byLes Éditions de Minuit and began a series of seminars at the École normale supérieure. In 1981, he was named as Chair in Sociology at the Collège de France.  In 1993, he was awarded the gold medal from the CNRSin France, the highest prestige to be awarded to an intellectual. He died of cancer on 23rd January 2002.




Bourdieu’s professional output was voluminous. It includes books, academic papers, conference presentations, interviews, films and photography, newspaper articles, reviews, petitions, and talks. Together, they amount to several hundred pieces of work, not to mention the numerous translations into a wide range of global languages. It is possible to group his major publications into four overlapping phases. The first of these include his earliest work on Algeria  – Sociologie de L’Algérie(1958), Travail et travailleurs en Algérie(1962), Le déracinement, la crise de l’agriculture traditionelle en Algérie (1964) – and in his home village in the Béarn – Célibat et condition paysanne (1962)[1].




A second phase includes his early projects at the Centre de Sociologie Européenne: on education – Les héritiers(1964), La reproduction(1970); and art and culture – Un art moyen(1964), L’amour de l’art(1966). This phase culminated in the publication of two major methodological statements – Le métier de sociolgue (1968), Esquisse d’une théorie de la pratique(1972).




A third phase saw the appearance of his main anthropological studies of France: cultural life – La distinction(1979); academia and state training schools – Homo academicus (1984),La noblesse d’état(1989); as well as further methodological and philosophical statements – Le sens pratique(1980) (itself a reworking of his Algerian studies), Questions de sociologie(1980), Leçon sur la leçon(1982) (his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France), Choses Dites(1987), L’ontologie de politique de Martin Heidegger(1988). He also published his only major work on language during this phase –Ce que parler veut dire(1982).




The final phase represents the last decade of his life. At this stage, Bourdieu took on an increasing public profile. Part of this role involved attacks on modern economics and its consequences – La misère du monde(1993), Les structures sociales de l’économie (2000). These were also backed up by shorter collections of polemical statements aimed at a wider public – Contre-feux (1998) andContre-feu 2 (2001). The focus on society and the individual included La domination masculine (1998).




Further methodological and philosophical works also appeared, often with explicit social and political discussion included as part of the implications of the theory of knowledge he had now developed to a sophisticated level – Réponses(1992), Raisons pratiques(1994) and Méditations pascaliennes(1997). His main empirical work again took up the artistic field, but this time focused on the production of writers and artists – Les règles de l’art(1992). As part of his duties at the Collège de France, Bourdieu gave a series of annual lectures – leçons– during his time there. Some of these formed the basis of subsequent publications: for example, Science de la science et réflexivité (2001). Others have been transcribed and published since his death: his analysis and history of the modern State – Sur l’Ėtat  (2012); and a further major study of the ‘pre-impressionist’ painter Manet  – Manet: une révolution symbolique(2013).




Theory of Practice

In the Outline to a Theory of Practice(1977a/72), Bourdieu sets out his epistemological approach in terms of a series of ‘breaks’: from empirical knowledge; from phenomenological knowledge; from structural knowledge; and from scholastic (theoretical) knowledge itself (pp.1-2). These breaks are not seen as a series of exclusions, however; rather each theoretical position is retained and integrated into an overarching ‘theory of practice’. In effect, he sees the need understand these breaks as implying the addition of a fourth type of knowledge – praxeological. The basis of these breaks is a view of structure that sees it in terms of mental and social homologies.  Education is a key mechanism by which individuals’ own empirical knowledge is held up against that dominant cultural knowledge of the state. Matches and mismatches occur in terms of structure similarities and differences.




Structure needs to be understood as being distinct from conventional forms found in structuralism.  For Bourdieu, structural relations arise from practical (sense) action – that is the empirical cognitive acts of individuals in pursuit of their aims. Such an engagement involves the interaction between generating principles in social contexts and individual human agency. These principles do not exist in some value-free, Platonic realm, however, but are the product and process of what already-has-been – values which serve the status quo and/or emerging social forms. This phenomenological-structural relation is, therefore, also a product of environmentally structural conditions, which offer objective regularities to guide thought and action – ways of doing things. His understanding is hence the basis of an epistemology, which aims to construct a, ‘science of the dialectical relations between objective structures…and the subjective dispositions within which these structures are actualised and which tend to reproduce them’ 1977a/72: 3). In short, a theory of structure as both structured(opus operatum, and thus open to objectification) and structuring(modus operandi, and thus generative of thought and action).




In the course of his empirical studies, Bourdieu also developed a series of ‘key concepts’, which he used as analytic tools to carry the approach (see Grenfell, 2014). The concepts representing objectivism and subjectivism are fieldand habitus, the relationship between which he described as one of ‘ontological complicity’ (1982: 47).




Fieldis the ‘objective’ elements of the social environment, and is defined as:



….. as a network, or a configuration, of objective relations between positions. These positions are objectively defined, in their existence and in the determinations they impose upon their occupants, agents or institutions, by their present and potential situation (situs) in the structure of the distribution of species of power (or capital) whose possession commands access to the specific profits that are at stake in the field, as well as by their objective relation to other positions (domination, subordination, homology, etc.).

 (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992a: 97)



Education is a field.




Habitus, on the other hand, is an expression of subjectivity:




Systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can only be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them. Objectively ‘regulated’ and ‘regular’ without being in any way the product of obedience to rules, they can be collectively orchestrated without being the product of the organizing action of a conductor’

                                                   (Bourdieu 1990a/80: 53)




In line with the discussion above, Habitusand fieldare homologous in terms of structures that are both structured andstructuring. In other words, social spacesmust be understood as differentiated, and thus structural in essence.




Methodology in Practice

Bourdieu undertook a number of empirical studies, which might even be considered as anthropologies of contemporary France. These studies can be seen as Bourdieu working out what his theory of practice meant in research practice. The resultant method can be understood in terms of 3 co-terminus Phases and 3-level field analysis:





  1. Construction of the Research Object
  2. Field Analysis
  3. Participant Objectivation (see Bourdieu, 2000b, 2003, 2007)




3- Level Field Analysis

  1. The field and the field of power
  2. The field
  3. The habitus of those occupying positions in the field.

                      (See Grenfell, 2014 Chapter 13; Grenfell, 2017)




Central to this project is an exploration of symbolic power(see Bourdieu 1991b, chapter 7), in particular with respect to its provenance in the state. This preoccupation is evident from earliest studies. For example, voluminous studies on Algeria begin with challenging the unitary concept of such as imposed by the French on a country it colonized in 1832 (see Bourdieu 1958, 1961, 1962a, 1962b, 1962c, 1963, 1964a). Using ethnographical, pictorial and statistical techniques Bourdieu constructs a ‘social topography’ of Algeria and its people. In a late leçonat the Collège de France(Bourdieu, 2014/ 2012), he argues that integration precedes domination and unification precedes monopolization in the state’s imposition of symbolic power. In a very real sense, Education operates in the same way in French society.





Key Works on Education



Les étudiants et leurs études (1964b) Les héritiers. Les étudiants et la culture (1979/ 64) and La reproduction(1977b/ 70).

One of Bourdieu’s first major studies was on education, a sector with particular relevance at the time. Education was seen as contributing to the rebuilding of post-war France, and therefore of supplying the needs of the economy. However, it was also implicated in a philosophy of man shared by humanist and progressive Catholics alike. The notion of the ‘democratic school’ had been raised and educational policies developed to ensure equality of access. However, Bourdieu’s analyses suggested that within this equity in provision, a further hidden selection was taking place in the way the culture of schooling was grounded on a particular dominant way of viewing the world – that of the dominant classes. Schooling could therefore operate according to its principles of open access, and the misrecognised systems of selection could do the rest. And, was intimately involved in such systems as the medium of teaching and learning (see Grenfell, 2004a, 2011). 




Both Les héritiers and Lareproductionjuxtapose the culture and attitudes of students according to their social background. They include accounts of the literate practices of French students in the 1960s which contrasts ‘high’ (academic) and ‘low’ (popular) culture. Bourdieu saw both a resonance and structural homology between ‘bourgeois’ culture and that implicitly characterising French classical education. Schools were not simply places where individuals proved their innate talent and worth but provided a mechanism by which elites were perpetuated and transformed – in a word reproduced – themselves. Bourdieu and Passeron described the ideal French homo academicusand the ‘Games Students Play’. In brief, their argument went as follows: students were involved in a game of several facets. They read the latest ‘avant-grade’ writers of the time – Camus, Malraux, Valéry, Kafka and Proust – whilst asserting the, ‘values that are celebrated in orbituaries’ (ibid.); in other words, a traditional outlook on the world. They involved themselves in the typical student game of ‘distancing oneself from all limitations…(celebrating) difference for difference sake’. At the same time, they passed over in silence differences, which derived from social origin (p.47). All the while, differences deliberately expressed in opinions and tastes were manifest and manifested. This is a ‘game’ of signifiers, where what is signified is only partially explicitly acknowledged. Differences are therefore recognised but not the social derivation of which they are an expression. Such a phenomenon was omnipresent. Even where differences of economic background and its effects on scholastic outcome were indeed acknowledged, and even when this led to an overt political aim of rectitude, it did so in such a way as to mask the cultural processes which continued to ensure the social reproduction of privilege: ‘The educational system can, in fact, ensure the perpetuation of privilege by the mere operation of its own internal logic’ (p.27) – this is its ‘logic of practice’. That logic is one of ‘differentiation’ and it is operated by an entire system of strategies of exclusion and inclusion. Even the decisions, which are made by representatives from different social categories are made in terms of the ‘objective future’ of that category. Bourdieu and Passeron write of the way in which the ‘reality’ of why students are studying is often ‘denied’, concealing ‘self-interest’ and thus disconnecting the present from the future, as a way of asserting an ‘eternal autonomy’, which is a valued prerequisite of the ‘educated man’. The important principle here is that we need to distinguish between the function an educational system performs and the means by which it performs them (p.66).




Academic success is often acknowledged in terms of ‘talent’ and inherent scholastic gifts. This ‘charisma ideology’ (p.71) is even accepted by those from the ‘lower classes’ (sic.) in a way which directs them to a kind of academic and social fatalism; they fail because they are destined to fail due to lack of talent. And, by accepting how they are described – in language – they are complicit in their own subordination, and might even be considered to be ‘consenting victims’ (p.71-72):




So, the ‘victims” of what is being perpetuated in the name of democratic schooling collude (unknowingly) in the process by which ‘what’ they are is conflated to express ‘who’ they are in terms of scholastic talent. All the while, ‘clumsy teachers’ impose their ‘essentialist definitions’, imprisoning individuals as a result. But, this ‘imposition’ does not operate in terms of a simple inculcation of knowledge and control. Rather, it is inherent in the practice of cultural transmission: cultural capital, of which linguistic capitalis a core component. Moreover, it is not that cultural capitalcan be taken simply as ‘cultural requisites’ or content.  Rather, imposition is expressed in the very forms and relations that culture takes on. Nowhere is this more evident than in the language of education.




In Rapport Pédagogique et Communication  (1994b/65), the issue of scholastic language is explicitly addressed. The currency of education is language and it is themedium of knowledge transmission. For Bourdieu, language has two basic levels of expression: form, or structure, and content. Both form and content may exist in a way, which favours certain ways of thinking and expressing that thinking. Moreover, they both may act as a mechanism for cultural transmission, which itself advantages and disadvantages those who encounter it, depending on their background and the affinities (or not) this sets up when they enter a scholastic field. Bourdieu writes of the importance of language in the academic discourseand how it operates in education. If academic discourse is predicated on an assumption of communication between the teacher and the taught, this relationship is fraught with faulty signals:




There are, in fact, two systems of contradictory demands that pedagogical communication needs to satisfy, neither of which can be completely sacrificed: first, to maximise the absolute quantity of information conveyed (which implies reducing repetition and redundancy to a minimum); second, to minimise the loss of information (which, among other measures, may imply an increase in redundancy).

                       (Bourdieu, Passeron and de Saint Martin 1994b/65: 6)




The paradox of language in the pedagogic relationship is consequently that it cannot satisfy these contradictory demands. Moreover, such demands are intensified by the social origins of learners and teachers, representing as they do, more or less, differing worldviews and ways of expressing them. Bourdieu argues that, ‘the aim of maximising the output of communication…goes directly against the traditional relationship to the language of teaching’ (p. 6). He offers evidence of this ‘misunderstanding’ everywhere in his empirical studies of language in education.




Pedadogic Authoritiyis hence defined and transmitted in language, is carried in both the projection and reception of language in both form and content. The fact that this goes on in a way that is misrecognised – mistaken for innate talent and ability – makes it all the more powerful.




The New Sociology of Education

In 1966, Bourdieu published Champ intellectual and projectcréateur(Intellectual Field and Creative Project) (see 1971b). The focus here was on the relationship between social structures and the nature of thought itself. A similar focus was given in ‘The Unthinkable and the Thinkable’ (1971c) where Bourdieu addresses literally what can and cannot be thought. The answer in both papers is that the limits of thought are defined by individuals’ positions within a particular field. The argument is circular: because an individual is at a particular position in the field, they think in a certain way; and because they think in a certain way, they are in a particular position in the field. InIntellectual Field and Creative Project the ‘knowledge field’ is described in terms of it being the reflection of a certain form of society. Bourdieu’s immediate concern was to show how the products of artists and intellectuals must be understood in terms of affinities between their creative project and the social world, which surrounds them (see also Grenfell and Hardy 2003, 2007). It is important here to stress that Bourdieu is not arguing for a kind of mechanistic determinism; that there is somehow an instrumental fit between society and thinking as expressed by artists and intellectuals. It would be better to describe it as one ‘conditioning’ the other along certain lines or tendencies. But, these lines and tendencies are themselves characterised in terms of their proximity of identification with orthodox and non-orthodox ways of viewing the world and expressing oneself. Schools, the educational system, institutions, academies are all directly implicated in propagating a particular world view; one that is ‘consecrated’ and ‘legitimated’, but one which finally has to be understood as arbitrary in that it is relative to a particular way of doing things – one which advantages certain sections of the populace. Bourdieu’s analysis is full of irony and allusion. He writes of ‘Prophets, Priests and Sorcerers’ in referring to the ‘magical’ effect of consecration bestowed on individuals.




Behind this analysis is again the issue of the symbiotic relationship between habitusand field, and the ontological complicityfound in the elective affinitiesset up as any ‘thinking person’ enters a ‘knowledge field’. In other words, not only the intellectual, but even a school pupil, enters the fieldalready saturated with categories of thinking, codes, dispositions, which then act as primary points de départ in shaping their responses to what they find there. Inevitably, institutions win out and they either stay and are molded by it or leave. Consequently: ‘men formed by a certain school have in common a certain cast of mind’ (ibid.: 182).




Bourdieu drew on the work of Erwin Panowsky who had analysed the relationship between Gothic art and the Scholasticism apparent in training schools. Such scholasticism emphasises, ‘the principle of clarification’, ‘the schema of literary presentation’, ‘the order and logic of words’, and can be seen as the defining principles for the architectural designs for Gothic cathedrals – with their symmetries and correspondences.  In short, it is a ‘mental habit’, a way of doing things, which should be understood, not in terms of instrumental replication, but of genuine ‘cause and effect’. Schools, Bourdieu insinuates, operate thus:




As a ‘habit-forming force’, the school provides those who have undergone its direct or indirect influence not so much with particular and particularized schemes of thought as with that general disposition which engenders particular schemes, which may then be applied in different domains of thought and action, a disposition that one could call the cultivated habitus.

                                                   (ibid.: 184)




In this way, the ‘collective heritage’, which itself is in a constant state of flux, is transformed into an individual’s unconscious, which nevertheless is held in common with others.  In effect, this analysis is to connect culture with education and the individual with society at whole, and it is a relationship that is at the heart of the education system.




In another article from 1967, Bourdieu developed the relation between Systems of Education and Systems of Thought (1971a/67). Bourdieu begins this article by addressing the ethnologist himself – in this case, Claude Levi-Strauss – posing the question of the extent to which one can be objectively conscious of the patterns of thought, which guide thinking. He then draws links between the patterns that predominate in French education and those, which direct the behaviour of so-called primitive tribes; for example, the Bororo Indians. He then asks:




Do the patterns of thought and language transmitted by the school, e.g. those treatises of rhetoric used to call figures of speech and figures of thought, actually fulfill, at any rate among members of educated classes, the function of unconscious patterns which govern the thinking and the productions of people belonging to traditional societies or do they, because of the conditions in which they are transmitted and acquired, operate only at the most superficial level of consciousness?

(ibid.: 190).




Bourdieu is asking whether it is a certain way of thinking that creates the world – in this case the scholastic forms of classification and thus thinking – or whether, it is the structure of this world itself which creates a certain way of thinking? His answer is to see ‘culture’ as the medium of the relationships between these two. In other words, culture does not provide a ‘common set of codes’ or answers to recurrent problems in the social world. Rather, culture offers a set of previously assimilated ‘master patterns’, which are brought to bear on immediate problems as a sort of ‘art of invention’ in directing how to act and think. He uses an analogy to music: a fixed set of scales, etc. around which improvisations can happen in response to the current situation.




Bourdieu wished to create a ‘theory of knowledge’ for education, which was dynamic, fluid but also stable enough to be of practical analytical use. Firstly, he saw these patterns as being distinct from codes, which might be seen as directing thought and action in a much more instrumental and pre-determined way. Secondly, these patterns were not ‘rules’ – they are never followed explicitly. Thirdly, these patterns were not even ‘conscious’ – indeed, part of their power was that they might govern and regulate mental processes without being consciously controlled. Fourthly, these patterns were not static – indeed, they are in a constant state of flux in response to the cultural (ultimately) economic conditions of the day. Bourdieu returns to the notion that is ‘school’ that is instrumental in creating a ‘habit-forming-force’: a scholastic habitus– both as a general disposition and in terms of specific content, which are then active in various areas of thought and action. In short, the function of schools is to transmit master patterns of the culture. It is culture, which then differentiates; to separate out and divide individuals according to the extent to which they have acquired the necessary attributes, exposed in the way they act and think, and thus their dispositions to be a certain type of individual.  But, for Bourdieu, that culture is itself enshrined in the institutional conditions of schools; for example, the way they organize themselves, the way the curriculum is delivered, and the way knowledge is classified. The whole takes place as part of a cycle of reciprocity: ‘Having to prepare their pupils to answer academic questions, teachers tend to plan their teaching in accordance with the system of organization that their pupils will have to follow in answering those questions; in the extreme case, we have those prose composition manuals providing ready-made essays of particular subjects’ (ibid.: 196).




In France up until the 1960s, the lycéeor collège(secondary school) had been reserved for the ‘middle classes’; whilst elementary or primary school was for the common people. In effect, this system resulted in producing a class distinction of cultural ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’. ‘Academic culture’ is reserved for those who have the long discipline of schooling; ‘popular culture’ is for those who have been excluded from it. Thus, it is ‘academic culture’, and the cultural attributes inherent in it, which is highly valorised in society. This distinction of individuals in terms of the degree to which they express such culture is implicitly asking one section of the populace to act in a way, which is alien to it. Indeed, ‘scholastic knowledge’ and ‘academic culture’ express themselves not only in terms of what you know, but a whole relationship to knowledge itself. This can be expressed not only on in terms of how much you know – ‘vigour and brilliance’ – but ‘ease, elegance, and qualities of style’.




These seminal works formed the basis of the ‘new’ sociology of education, which focused much more on ‘knowledge formation’ in the classroom (see Young, 1971)




The State Nobility(1996a/89) Homo Academicus (1988/84)

Such relations to language are also noted in Bourdieu’s studies of Higher Education. In Homo Academicus, he analyses the structure and state of the Higher Education field. What he found was a shifting territory in the decades following on from the Second World War. Both the number of students in Higher Education and the subjects they studied had evolved considerably in response to the needs and socio-economic prospects of the modern world. Amongst a large number of other indicators, Bourdieu showed how it was possible to find strong relationships between identity, worldview and action in and through relations to language. For example, these patterns were manifest even in something as mundane as voting patterns to University elections. In subjects leading to a wide range of professional careers – such as the physical sciences, the arts, sociology and psychology – participation rates in elections were noticeably lower than where students were orientated towards clear ‘tenured’ posts – such as secondary school teachers. Language students were amongst this latter group. They therefore participated more fully in the elections; a participation which implied an already established pattern of social conformity. 




The State Nobilityis a study of the French Grandes Écoles(one of which – the École Normale Supérieure – one of which Bourdieu attended). Here, we find similar mechanisms of definition and imposition, the consequences of which are social selectivity. Language is again implicated in the way it is used to objectify individuals and how they are described. The point revolves around the issue of  the verdict(judgement). So, a statement such as ‘you are common’, or ‘you are only a worker’s son’ would have no symbolic value and, moreover, would break a primary principle of legitimation, namely equality. A much more powerful and occluded strategy is therefore required: one of euphemisation. Here, the same judgment is delivered, but it is done so in ways and phrases which fane objectivity; for example, in comments of written work, such as ‘insipid style’, ‘OK’, ‘unimportant’ (see 1996a/89: 40-41). In this way, a taxonomy of values is created which has, at its base, the distinction between the mass and the few, the master and the novice, the refined and the vulgar, the authentic and inauthentic and, ultimately, the legitimate and illegitimate. These classifications are therefore not simply pragmatic terms for assessing students’ work. They actually form and are formed by categories of thought which have, as their root, a phenomenology of experience and cognition; in other words, the categories are based on cognitive relations which are formed in childhood, reinforced in adulthood, and heavily laden with the values and interestsof particular class factions in the social hierarchy.




TheState Nobility hence begins with an analysis of the ‘categories’ of thought employed by academic lecturers in assessing students’ work – for example, ‘simple-minded’, ‘banal’ ‘vigorous’, ‘sincere’, ‘inspired’ – relating each to the social origins of the students to whom they are applied (p.31). In many cases, there is an opposition set up between ‘one’ and the ‘other’. However, this is not simply a process that applies at the extremes. Even within the elite groups, there are noticeable oppositions, which can be understood as characterising distinction. So, between the ENS (École Normale Supérieure) and the ENA (École Normale d’Administration– a high level training college founded after the Second World war to train the new technicist elite required to drive the French economy) – there are differences in the way scholastic competence is defined through language. For example, in the oral exam of the ENA, mastery over complex situations is required – such as the ‘official interview’, or the ‘cocktail/ dinner party’. At the ENS, on the other hand, academic excellence is defined more in terms of the presentation of written exams, which need to exhibit ‘clarity’, ‘conviction’ and a certain ‘presence of mind’ (p.420). There is a methodological point to be made here about language in that any study of such a situation cannot be made simply in terms of a discourse analysis of the text of the exams but requires a, ‘methodological establishment of relations…between the space of discursive stances and the space of the positions held by the producers and recipients of the discourse…in the present case, in other words, the entire field of the grandes écoles and its relations to the field of power’ (ibid.).  




Teacher Education

There is an extensive research literature of the professionalsiation of teachers. Much of this takes its lead either from objectivist or subjectivist approaches to the topic. For example, there is a tradition of looking at teacher professionalisation in terms of processes of socialisation towards a given state of vocationalism. This work involves considering the stages that teachers go through in the course of gaining professional competence and the dilemmas they face: between theory and practice; classroom management; the institutionalisation of schools; curriculum control, etc. This is an essential ‘objective’ mode of inquiry (see, for example, Lacey 1977, Ginsburg, 1988). Another tradition has grown out of a more ‘subjective’ approach to professionalism. The roots of this tradition lay in ‘trait theory’; that is, that we are born with particular ‘traits which make one or another profession the most suitable for us. A more recent version of this approach is the examination of ‘teacher knowledge’ or ‘craft’ with a view to edification as a part of defining professional competence (see, for example, Calderhead, 1987). Of course, both of these traditions use techniques, which tell us a lot about teacher training, professionalisation, and education. However, a study using Bourdieu’s theory of practice (see Grenfell, 1996) would approach the topic in its epistemological sense and examine the very language we use to talk and write about teachers and professions. Bourdieu:




The notion of profession is dangerous because it has all the appearance of false neutrality in its favour. Profession is a folk concept which has been uncritically smuggled into scientific language and which imports with it a whole social unconscious. It is the product of a historical work of construction and representation of a group which has slipped into the very science of this group. This is why this concept works so well, or too well: the category of profession refers to realities that are, in  a sense, ‘too real’ to be true, since it grasps at once a mentalcategory and a socialcategory, socially produced only by superseding or obliterating all kinds of differences and contradictions.

                                                   (1989b: 37-38)




Because of this, the very term ‘profession’ itself has to be treated as an ‘object’ of rather than simply an ‘instrument’ of analysis, and reconfigured in terms of Bourdieu’s own conceptual thinking tools: habitus,field, capital, etc. The field of teacher professionalism – from pre-service to in-service – needs the kind of 3-level analysis suggested above. This method would bring together the structure of teachers’ professional life both in terms of material conditions and the ideational discourse, which directs their work. The latter are represented in curricula, assessment procedures, and official pedagogies – not to mention management principles – all of which have their logic of practice establishing the ideational field. However, teachers are also physically located, and each of these theories and practices are spread across and congregate in specific points of their everyday activities: teacher/pupil interactions; lessons; classes; classrooms; school departments; schools; and the education profession. And, of course, the fieldthat is the education profession exists within a fieldof a fieldand shares this space in terms of specific relational structures. In other words, all these interact – more or less – at one particular instance. However, what occurs does not just depend on the fieldand microcosms of educational practice. It also results from the interaction with all these and individual teacher dispositions and predispositions, which have been formed in the course of their biography; in other words, habitus. It is indeed possible to explain teachers’ professional practice in terms of the interaction between their fieldcontexts and their own habitus. What we find is that teachers are often caught in a space where who they are and what they are obliged to do in terms of the dominant discourse sometimes clashes. There is a double bindwhen they are asked to operate double structures: theory and practice; personal knowledge based on experience and the official pedagogies of curricula; institutional norms – school and other agencies (government, training, local authorities). In this space, they can be nowhereand experience such as deep experiential dilemmas. These dilemmas are managed by all sorts of strategies, including one of optional misrecognition; a kind of cognitive dissonance that is silenced by masking its own truth with sanctioning the official logic of practice and its practical consequences – a kind of pragmatic bad faith.




The same might be said of teacher educators (see Jóhannesson 1993). In other words, there is a potential in Bourdieu work to apply his conceptual thinking tools to teacher education research other than established traditions. The way to do this is to replace one language with another: the first based on ‘common sense’, forced neutrality and thus historical constitutive recognitions; the second coming from an epistemology which integrates subject and object into a dynamic structural method of analysis for educational practice. The move is therefore more than simply linguistic, or a technical modification, and involves a fundamental shift in understanding about knowledge formation and practice in actual real-life contexts.





Policy and Curricula



A Collège de Francearchive from 1968 (the year of mass student protests – see 2008: 63) is a petition signed by over seventy individuals, including Bourdieu. It provides a good indication of the interpretation given to events at the time by a representative sample of academic intellectuals. The document stresses the need for a ‘democratic transformation of the French University’ but argues that ‘coherent and explicit programme of reform’ can only emerge by looking at the ‘function’, both technical and social, that the University fulfills. In other words, what was needed was a fundamental consideration of the founding principles of the University, not just a piecemeal list of reforms. The document then draws attention to two important issues: firstly, that the biggest victims of the then present system were in fact outside it – those who had already been eliminated by it; secondly, that it was necessary to acknowledge the way the current system in fact perpetuated the established social order. Academic access was an issue. The students had ‘declared’ all teaching sessions open to outsiders, workers, etc.: a symbolic act of acknowledging the shared needs of different groups in society. The petition then argues the need to look at the training of teachers, claiming that it was not just at University level that reform was needed. Real change would only come about if the French could counteract the scholastic mechanisms of ‘elimination and relegation’, and minimise the effect of social class heritage. Scholastic certificates themselves, it was argued, should be downgraded as the sole expression of competence. In the education system itself, democratisation had to be seen in terms of a reform of the examination system, not just teaching styles. More exams should be criterion, rather than norm, referenced, and teachers needed a more progressive training in pedagogy. However, such developments also had to be accompanied by a reform of the very structures themselves – of disciplines, certificates and the curriculum – in order to remove terminology and ways of assessing which of them were out-of-date if not ‘ancient’. The document ends on a further democratic note: that developing this programme of change would only work if all social groups involved in its eventual implementation participated in its formulation.




How many of these proposals are still relevant, today? And, to what extent were they responded to at the time and even in subsequent reforms? A brief response would be that a number of reforms were indeed introduced and concessions made in the name of ‘democratisation’, ‘equity’, ‘autogestion (self –management)’ and ‘participation’ – reforms which matched those society and the world of work as a whole. The final conclusion, nevertheless, would be that there was subsequently very little real lasting change in the French educational system in terms of the fundamental reassessment called for in this document. In fact, what did change amounted to little more than piecemeal concessions to pacify the protesters of the day, and these were soon frittered away when on-going leadership and support was not offered to back up their implementation.




Furthermore, when France voted for first a socialist President and government in 1981– the first of the Fifth Republic – there was a general mood of optimism and a spirit of reform in the air. In February 1984, President Mitterand called on the ‘Professors’ of the Collège de Franceto produce a report on the future of education in which they would ‘reflect on the fundamental principles of education…integrating literary and artistic culture with the most recent knowledge and methods in science’ (see 2002: 199). The final report included nine ‘principles’, which should guide future reform:




  1. The Coherence of Science and the plurality of cultures.
  2. Diversification in Forms of Excellence
  3. Multiplication of Opportunities
  4. Coherence in and through Pluralism
  5. The Periodic Revision of Subjects taught
  6. Unification of Knowledge taught
  7. An Education that is Uninterrupted and alternate
  8. Use of Modern Techniques of Education
  9. Openness in and through independence




Many of the themes listed are familiar to anyone, who had read Les Héritiersand La Reproduction. Yet, they must also be read with some sense of paradox, when set along side Homo academicusand La Noblesse d’État  since many of the conclusions from these publications would seem to suggest that such principles were impossible in actual contexts as they challenged the innate logic of the education field.




Bourdieu had called for a ‘rational pedagogy’, all whilst insisting that any attempt to introduce it would fail if it defined itself simply in terms of establishing equal opportunities of access to education; in other words, not addressing the conditions of inequality – social, economic, and (especially) cultural– would ensure ‘the democratisation of education’ would not have real effects.




For Bourdieu, education was caught in a double bind: it had, through incontrovertible evidence, accepted its role in maintaining social inequalities, and yet the immediate response to this only resulted in the inequalities being re-expressed in different forms. Furthermore, ‘dumbing down’ education to the lowest common denominator was, for him, just one way of accommodating the resentment felt by many of those excluded from it. What Bourdieu argued for instead was ‘diversification’ and ‘multiplication’; education where differences were valued and celebrated. Bourdieu noted that people would defend to the ‘nth degree’ their differences when they felt under attack (ibid.: 209). He insisted that change did not come about simply through introducing reform but by the creating conditions which were necessary for its implementation. What are the chances of such changes in the ‘real world’.




Rather than further reforms, still less a kind of idealistic utopia, what Bourdieu was arguing for was a true ‘educational project’ that would be undertaken as a social collective. It was not enough to ‘abandon selection’; this would only lead to negative effects. What was needed in its place was to develop measures, which would ensure that when there was competition, it occurred on equal footing; and, that support was present to ensure that social inequalities were compensated for. Bourdieu argued that such an approach required social commitment to find ways in which those who were in the school system would exist in a greater state of inter-dependence and collective responsibility with those around them.




These claims from 1986 were made soon after the report of the Collège de Francewas published: ‘Principles for reflecting on the curriculum’ (1992b/1989). Proposals were listed under seven principles:




  • Course content must regularly be reviewed so that new knowledge demanded by scientific progress and changes in society (European unification being a prime example) can be introduced.
  • Education must give priority to all the areas which can lead to a way of thinking which is endowed with a validity and applicability of a general nature as opposed to areas where knowledge could be acquired just as efficiently (and sometime more pleasantly) through other means.
  • Open, flexible and changeable programmes are a framework not a prison. There should be fewer and fewer constraints the more you go up the hierarchy of the educational process.
  • A critical review of the compulsory curriculum must always reconcile two variables, compulsoriness and transmittability.
  • In order to improve the effectiveness of the knowledge transmission through a diversification of teaching methods (whilst at the same time taking account of the real rather than theoretical knowledge that has to be assimilated) it will be necessary to distinguish between specialisms as well as within specialisms what is compulsory and what is optional.
  • Concern to reinforce the coherence of teaching should lead to the enhancement of team teaching that brings together teachers from different disciplines.
  • The search for coherence should be accomplished by a search for balance and integration between the different specialisms and, as a consequence, between different forms of excellence.




The ‘Misery’ of Education



In 1993, Bourdieu published la Misère du monde(The Weight of the World, 1999/93). The book was assembled by Bourdieu and a team of collaborators and is offered as a series of ‘témoinages’: personal accounts of daily lives and experiences. Each is an individual slice through French society but, as a whole, they build up a picture of what it was to live in France in the last decade of the twentieth century: for example, industrial relations, farming, politics, urban housing, youth and old age pensioners. If they share one thing in common it is the ‘social suffering’ to which they are all victims.




Those case studies dealing with education can be read as ethnographic accounts of the consequences of previous decades of educational reform in France. If the guiding principles of such reforms had been ‘vocationalisation and democratisation’, their effects seem to be far from being uniformly positive. In fact, their outcomes include many unanticipated side-effects, which often seem worse than the malady they set out to cure. For example, it is all very well insisting that more students stay on at school and go to university – France had a policy that at least 80% of the post-16 age-group should undertake further education. However, the unintended effect of this policy was that many schools were now full of disaffected youth who did not want to be there. Or, they gain qualifications, which seem to have little value in the outside world. In effect, Bourdieu’s own theory predicted such a process and outcome; where the elite find other means to ensure their entry into the upper echelons of education on their way to the best jobs, while the rest work at gaining certificates that have been severely hit by ‘qualification inflation’. Many new qualifications seem to by little in terms of real jobs. Such qualifications are ‘simulacra’, illusory in character. In a sense, disaffection is assured when students are caught in the ‘double bind’ of an education with no end, on the one hand, as training routes proliferate, and outcomes of unreliable value, on the other. The ‘royal road’ was (and still is!) Science. This is the route for the most academically able. At baccalauréat level (university entrance level), even if a student is intending to study ‘arts’ subjects, it is still better to follow a ‘scientific’ track in order to maximise one’s opportunities in terms of university/course choice. The overwhelming conclusion is that French education still exists in two principal forms: one for the ‘best’ (the elite) and another for the rest (the ‘masses’). Life for teachers is described in la Misère du mondeas often being ‘intolerable’. They are forced to work with pupils who ‘should not be there’. Little wonder, therefore, that pupils’ behaviour is appalling. Work is ‘relentless’ as they have to implement one reform after another – ‘reformettes’ – in work conditions that leave much to be desired and barely cover the essentials in terms of resources. Educational ‘black-spots’ exist, often in centres of severe urban deprivation. Here, state aid is high, as is unemployment. All this has an effect on educational achievement. There is, then, clearly a wide gap between a political rhetoric of ‘diversification and individualization’ and a reality of social and economic penury.







There is a paradox in the way that Bourdieu initially became known to an English-speaking world as a sociologist of Education; firstly, because, he wrote so much on other non-educational topics; and secondly, because he is often so damming about the possibility of change in educational systems. Nevertheless, his work was appropriated by those looking for an ‘enlightened pedagogy’ for teachers, even though Bourdieu doubted that much could be done by individual teachers alone. In fact, his work as a whole is probably best understood as an enquiry into the entire workings of the French state and its social institutions, of which education is just one. To this extent, the individual researcher has to explore the extent to which the French educational system offers principles of practice analogous to their own context; such requiring an empirical application of the methodology and conceptual tools of analysis he provides. Nevertheless, Bourdieu remains a popular thinker amongst educationalists, and the potential insights his perspectives provides for educational policy and practice have certainly not yet been fully realized.







(Where possible, and English translations exist, I have quoted these first to ease reference follow-up for the reader; all whilst quoting the French version as well and drawing their attention to the significance of the original publication date.)



Bourdieu, P (1958) Sociologie de l’Algérie. (New Revised and Corrected Edition, 1961). Paris: Que Sais-je.


Bourdieu, P (1961) ‘Révolution dans la révolution’, Esprit, Jan., 27 – 40.


Bourdieu, P (1962a) The Algerians (trans. A C M Ross). Boston: Beacon Press.


Bourdieu, P (1962b) ‘Célibat et condition paysanne’, Etudes rurales,5-6, 32 – 136.


Bourdieu, P (1962c) ‘De la guerre révolutionnaire à la révolution’, in F Perroux (Ed) L’Algérie de demain. Paris: PUF.


Bourdieu, P (with Darbel, A, Rivet, J P, and Seibel, C) (1963) Travail et travailleurs en Algérie.Paris- The Hague: Mouton.


Bourdieu, P (with Sayad, A) (1964a)Le Déracinement, la crise de l’agriculture tradionelle en Algérie.Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (with J-C Passeron) (1964b) Les étudiants et leurs études. The Hague: Le Mouton.


Bourdieu, P (1971a/67) ‘Systems of education and systems of thought’, in M F D Young (Ed.) Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education. London: Macmillan.


Bourdieu, P (1971b/ 1966) ‘Intellectual field and creative project’, in M F D Young (Ed.) Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education. London: Macmillan.

– ‘Champ intellectuel et projet créateur’, Les Tempts Modernes, Nov, 865-906.


Bourdieu, P (1977a/72) Outline of a Theory of Practice(trans. R Nice). Cambridge: CUP.

  • Esquisse d’une théorie de la pratique. Précédé de trois études d’ethnologie kabyle. Geneva: Droz.


Bourdieu, P (with Passeron, J-C) (1977b/70) Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture (trans. R. Nice). London: Sage.

  • La Reproduction. Eléments por une théorie du système d’enseignement. Paris: Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (1971c) ‘The thinkable and the unthinkable’, The Times Literary Supplement, 15 October, pp. 1255-6.



Bourdieu, P (Passeron, J-C)(1979/64) The Inheritors, French Students and their Relation to Culture (trans. R.Nice). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Les héritiers, les étudiants et la Culture. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit


Bourdieu, P (1982) Leçon sur une leçon. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (1984/79) Distinction (trans. R. Nice). Oxford: Polity.

La Distinction. Critique sociale du jugement. Paris: Editions de Minuit


Bourdieu, P (1988/84) Homo Academicus(Trans. P. Collier). Oxford: Polity.

  • Homo Academicus. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (1989a) ‘Social space and symbolic power’, Sociological Theory, 7, 14-25.


Bourdieu, P (1989b) ‘Towards a reflexive sociology: a workshop with Pierre Bourdieu’, Sociological Theory, 7, 26-63.


Bourdieu, P (1990a/1980) The Logic of Practice (trans. R Nice). Oxford: Polity.

  • Le sens pratique. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (with Darbel, A and Schnapper, D) (1990b/1966) The Love of Art. European Art Museums and their Public (trans. C Beattie and N Merriman). Oxford: Polity Press.

L’Amour de l’art, les musées d’art et leur public. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit


Bourdieu, P (with Chamboredon, J-C and Passeron, J-C) (1991a/1968) The Craft of Sociology (trans. R Nice). New York: Walter de Gruyter.

– Le Métier de sociologue. Paris: Mouton-Bordas.


Bourdieu, P (1991b) Language and Symbolic Power(trans. G. Raymond and M. Adamson). Oxford: Polity Press.


Bourdieu, P (with Wacquant, L) (1992a) An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (trans. L Wacquant). Oxford: Polity Press.

  • Réponses. Pour une anthropologie réflexive. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (1992b/1989) ‘Principles for reflecting on the curriculum’, TheCurriculum Journal, 1, 3, 307- 314.

Principes pour une réflexion sur les contenus d’enseignment


Bourdieu, P (1993a/1980)Sociology in Question (trans. R Nice). London: Sage.

Questions de sociologie. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (1993b) The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature. Oxford: Polity Press.


Bourdieu, P (1994a/ 1987) In Other Words: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology(Trans. M Adamson). Oxford: Polity.

  • Choses dites. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (with Passeron, J-C and De Saint Martin, M) (1994b/65) Academic Discourse. Oxford: Polity.

Rapport Pédagogique et Communication. The Hague: Mouton.


Bourdieu, P (with Grenfell, M) (1995) Entretiens. CLE  Papers 37: University of Southampton.


Bourdieu, P (1996a/1989) The State Nobility. Elite Schools in the Field of Power (trans. L C Clough). Oxford: Polity Press.

La noblesse d’état. Grandes écoles et esprit de corps. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.


Bourdieu, P (1996b/92) The Rules of Art (trans. S. Emanuel). Oxford: Polity Press.

Les règles de l’art. Genèse et structure du champ littéraire. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (1998a) Acts of Resistance. Against the New Myths of our Time(trans. R Nice). Oxford: polity Press.

Contre-feux. Paris: Raisons d’Agir


Bourdieu, P (1998b/1996) On Television and Journalism. London: Pluto Press.

Sur la télévision, suivi de l’Emprise du journalisme. Paris: Raisons d’agir.


Bourdieu, P (1999/1993)The Weight of the World. Social Suffering in Contemporary Society (trans. P Parkhurst Ferguson, S Emanuel, J Johnson, S T Waryn). Oxford: Polity Press.

La Misère du monde. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (2000a/1997) Pascalian Meditations (trans. R. Nice). Oxford: Polity Press.

  • Méditations pascaliennes. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (with Swain, H) (2000b) ‘Move over, shrinks’, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 14 April, 19.


Bourdieu, P (2001a/1998) Masculine Domination. Oxford: Polity Press.

  • La Domination masculine. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (2001b) Contre-feux 2. Pour un mouvement social européen. Paris: Raisons d’Agir.


Bourdieu, P. (2003) ‘Participant Objectivation’, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 9, 2, (June 2003), 281-294


Bourdieu, P (2004/2001) Science of Science and Reflexivity. Cambridge: Polity Press.

–  Science de la science et réflexivité. Paris: Raisons d’Agir.


Bourdieu, P (2005/2000) The Social Structures of the Economy. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Les Structures sociales de l’economie. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (2007) Sketch for a Self-analysis. Cambridge: CUP.

Esquisse pour une auto-analyse. Paris: Raisons d’Agir.


Bourdieu, P (2008/ 2002) (Eds. Discepolo and F Poupeau) Political Interventions: Social science and political action. London: Verson.

            – Interventions(1961-2001).Marseilles: Agone.


Bourdieu, P (2014/2012) On the State. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Sur l’État. Paris: Seuil.


Bourdieu, P (2017/ 2013) Manet: A Symbolic Revolution. Cambridge: Polity.

            – Manet: une revolution symbolique. Paris: Seuil.


Calderhead, J (1987) Exploring Teachers’ Thinking. London: Cassell.


Ginsburg, M. B. (1988) Contradictions in Teacher Education: A Critical Perspective. Lewes: Falmer Press.


Grenfell, M (1996) ‘Bourdieu and the initial training of modern language

teachers’, British Educational Research Journal, 22, 3, 287-303. 


Grenfell, M (2004a) ‘Bourdieu in the Classroom’, in M Olssen Language and Culture. New York: Greenwood Press.


Grenfell, M (2004b) Pierre Bourdieu: Agent Provocateur. London: Continuum.


Grenfell, M (2006) ‘Bourdieu in the field: from the Béarn to Algeria – a timely response’, French Cultural Studies, 17, 2, 223-240.


Grenfell, M (2007) Pierre Bourdieu: Education and Training. London: Continuum


Grenfell, M and Hardy, C (2003) ‘Field manoeuvres: Bourdieu and the Young British Artists’, Space and Culture, 6, 1, 19-34.


Grenfell, M and Hardy, C (2007) Art Rules. Pierre Bourdieu and the Visual Arts. Oxford: Berg.


Grenfell, M (2011) Bourdieu, Language and Linguistics. London: Continuum.


Grenfell, M (Ed.) (2014) Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts (2ndEdition). London: Routledge.


Grenfell, M (2017) ‘Reflecting in/ on Field Work’, in Albright, J, Hartmann, D, and Widen, J (eds.) Beyond the Fields we know: Operationalising and Extending Bourdieu’s Field Analysis, (In Press 2017).


Jóhannesson, I (1993) ‘Professionalisation of progress and expertise among teacher educators in Iceland: A Bourdieusian perspective’, Teacher and Teacher Education, 9, 3, 269-81.


Lacey, C (1977) The Socialisation of Teachers. London: Methuen.


Young, M F D (Ed.) (1971) Knowledge and Control: New Directions for the Sociology of Education. London: Macmillan.






[1]It is always important to note the actual year of original publication of Bourdieu’s work as translations often appeared many years later, skewing interpretations for non-French speakers. After this biographical note, and for the rest of this entry, I shall note the English translation first and the French second in order to facilitate ease of reference/ reading for an English speaking audience.