This book critically explores the role of state schooling in the reproduction of social class inequalities in the UK. By uniquely combining critical ethnographic methods with participatory and visual research, it foregrounds the experiences and recollections of working class adults in relation to their past schooling.

Drawing upon her own lived experiences, Jones theorises the experiences of her participants using an analysis of Marxist, Bourdieusian and Freirean frameworks to uncover relations of power and illustrate how schooling has reduced individual agency and sustained lived inequalities. By creating space for a Visual Intervention within Critical Ethnography (VICE) alongside her analysis of class and society, Jones successfully illuminates that working class struggles are not permanent, and that agency can be activated. The book also addresses an important need by centring research from the lived educational experiences of the working class, and, in particular, working class adults. Making a unique theoretical and methodological contribution using an innovative combined methodology approach, the text ultimately highlights the potential of empowering disadvantaged individuals by raising critical consciousness.

Though it is focused on the experiences of adults, this book has important understandings for all sectors of education and will be of interest to academics, researchers and students interested in the sociology of education, research methods in education, social inequality, social class and education politics.

chapter |16 pages

Stepping out of Line?

An Autobiographical Reflection of Growing up Working Class, to Becoming Educated and Moving beyond the Status Quo

chapter 1|25 pages

Class, State Schooling and Social Inequality in the UK

Historical and Current Context

chapter 3|22 pages

Researching with Adults

A Visual Intervention within Critical Ethnography (VICE)

chapter 4|23 pages

Social Class and Generational Transmission

chapter 6|15 pages

Engaging Agency

Problematising and Finding the Solution

chapter 7|9 pages


Beyond Social Injustices – Building ‘Praxis’ into Forms of Teaching and Research