Class and culture: Sources of confusion in educational sociology
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Wrigley, T. (2013) Class and culture: Sources of confusion in educational sociology. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 11(1), pp. 144-183.
This paper reiterates the centrality of economics (relations of production) in Marxist models of class, while avoiding the crude determinism which results from a neglect of cultural aspects of class formation. It explores the confusion in education and educational sociology arising from non-Marxist conceptions of class which place an exaggerated emphasis on cultural difference and see it as the determining factor. The paper explores some of the implications of non-Marxist models, including Bourdieu, for educational theory and practice. Critique is directed at the designation of different groups of workers as separate and mutually antagonistic ‘working’ and ‘middle’ classes and the deficit construction of workers thrust into poverty as an ‘underclass’ which is reproduced not by economic forces but by cultural habitus.