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New Publication! 4-volume set on Social Theory and Education Research

Published in Theory by on January 9, 2013

The University porter didn’t look too pleased having to bring the box to my office (heavy!), but the Sage produced 4-volume set on Social Theory and Education Research has finally landed. And a very handsome set it is too – comprising of 73 individual papers, divided into the following 4 volumes:

1.      Inequality, inclusion and education

2.      Identities: Notions of educational selves and subjectivities

3.      Teaching and learning: Curricular and pedagogical practice

4.      Governance and management: Performativity, audit cultures and accountability

There are contributions from Stephen Ball, Julie Allan, Diane Reay, Terry Lovat et al (the full list is available on the Sage website).

Retailing at £550 for the 4 volumes, it’s pretty much targeted at institutions and libraries (shame), but at least it provides recognition that there is a world out there linking social theory to educational research. For me this is the core benefit of the collection – making visible what tends to be a neglected aspect of educational research methodologies (if you don’t believe me, check out some of the educational research textbooks, not much mention of theory in these).

Doing my own research for these volumes (apart from the 4 core themes, papers were chosen based on their use of either Bourdieu, Habermas, Foucault or Derrida, and also to cover as wide a range of issues and contexts as possible), made me realise the full extent to which social theory has become embedded in the work of researchers internationally. My guess is there could have been 10 volumes of published work and I would still have been only scratching the surface.

Look out for contributions to this site from some of the included authors over the coming months…



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About the author /

Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy is a Reader in Education and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. He previously worked as an academic at King’s College, London, University of Chester, University of Stirling, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University College Dublin and Northern Illinois University. Mark is an active researcher in the fields of education and public policy. His research interests include educational sociology, critical theory, accountability in higher education, and public sector reform.

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