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Bourdieu: The Next Generation

7 January 2016

Front cover of new Bourdieu book

A new book co-edited by a Cardiff PhD student offers unique insight into how a new generation of researchers are applying the work of influential sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to contemporary issues.

Bourdieu: The Next Generation, which explores the development of Bourdieu’s intellectual heritage in contemporary UK sociology, will be launched at the University on 14 January 2015. Contributors to the book will be speaking about their chapters which cover issues of class and racial inequality in education and society, as well as issues of reflexivity in research. The launch is free to attend but advance registration is required. It is being held in association with the British Sociological Association Bourdieu Study Group.

Jessie Abrahams, one of the co-editors, is currently a PhD student at the School of Social Sciences, as well as a co-convenor of the Bourdieu Study Group. Her thesis focuses on the specific practices of the English education system which serve to re-enforce and reproduce social class inequality. She has been researching in the area of class and education for a number of years and is also part of the Paired Peers research team, a Leverhulme Trust-funded project exploring the impact of class, gender and institution on a cohort of young people as they transition to, through and from university.

Discussing the book, Jessie said: “Working on this book whilst in my fieldwork year was a major juggling act to say the least. But it was worth it. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work along with my fellow co-editors: Jenny Thatcher, Nicola Ingram and Ciaran Burke and many other fantastic up and coming Bourdieusian scholars in the field on this collection.

“I was drawn to Bourdieu's work as it resonated deeply with my own experience of social mobility. We have found that Bourdieu's work opens up a space for marginalised and isolated groups within academia to come together in a shared supportive environment, as many are similarly drawn to the thinker as his work helps them to understand their own trajectories. As such we really wanted to bring the personal back into research through this book and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each author’s personal reflection and life story.”

Bourdieu: The Next Generation demonstrates how Bourdieu’s concepts can be applied as “thinking tools” to understand contemporary social reality. In each chapter, individual authors discuss and reflect upon their own research and they ways in which they put Bourdieu to work.  It is published by Routledge and co-edited by Jenny Thatcher, Nicola Ingram, Ciaran Burke, and Jessie Abrahams.

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