chapter  1
12 Pages

Bourdieu and doing policy sociology in education

WithShaun Rawolle, Bob Lingard

Pierre Bourdieu's concepts and theories are adaptable as a methodological base for research on education policy and useful to describe and understand the connections between the field of education policy and other education fields and sub-fields. Bourdieu drew on a variety of traditions of intellectual thought to his theories; they were also open to engagement and change in relation to different social phenomena. The Bourdieu concepts are useful to understand broad processes of social change, which apply also to fields and sub-fields, particularly those related to mediatisation, globalisation and continuous education policy change. In considering the focus of policy sociology as the field of education policy or the policy field, the Bourdieuian approach allows another take on policy/implementation 'gaps', 'deficits', 'differences'. The Bourdieu's 'thinking tools', his argument concerning the necessity of the imbrications of the theoretical and the empirical and support for a researcher disposition of reflexivity, offer both a theory and a methodology for conducting policy sociology in education.