Providing an extraordinary picture of the inner workings of elite universities, Elite Universities and the Making of Privilege draws on current debates on education and inequality and considers the relevance of universities’ global brand identities.

Using the work of Bourdieu and critical race theory to explore how identity, experience and family background affects how people navigate the social space of the university, this book is underpinned with empirical research that considers different social, economic and educational contexts. Using interview accounts of graduate students, this book highlights ambiguities in how eliteness works as both a recognisable marker of institutional status and a marker that is rarely quantified or defined.

Combining intellectually rigorous, accessible and controversial chapters, Elite Universities and the Making of Privilege is crucial reading for anyone looking to understand how race and class affect those navigating elite universities.

chapter 1|17 pages


chapter 3|13 pages

Pathways to Elite Universities

Elite Schools, Wealth and Status

chapter 4|16 pages

Degrees of Entitlement

Who Belongs and Who Does Not?

chapter 5|12 pages

The Value of an Elite Degree

chapter 6|16 pages

Race, Privilege and Inequality

chapter 9|12 pages


Recognising the Unequal Field of Elite Universities