Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21463
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Change in the field - changing the field: Bourdieu and the methodological practice of educational research
Authors: Grenfell, Michael
James, David
Contact Email: michael.grenfell@stir.ac.uk
Issue Date: Sep-2004
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Grenfell M & James D (2004) Change in the field - changing the field: Bourdieu and the methodological practice of educational research, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 25 (4), pp. 507-523.
Abstract: Bourdieu's social theory offers a way of understanding some of the most important features of the field of educational research, while also providing educational researchers with a rich conceptual apparatus for their practice. This article addresses both of these methodological themes and the connections between them. We begin by outlining some key trends in educational research, mainly in Britain, over recent decades in terms of Bourdieu's Field Theory. Special attention is given to the relative positioning of researchers and the formation of an ‘avant‐garde'. We refer to the impact of educational policy and attacks on educational research, with attendant effects on the field, and on the formation and legitimacy of knowledge about educational processes. This analysis is followed by an example taken from a contemporary research project in which principles derived from Bourdieu's approach have been adopted in framing methodology. We give particular attention to the terms of the programme in which the project forms a part, and key aspects of it such as ‘user engagement'. Both methodological justifications and consequences are discussed, as well as tensions with dominant expectations of research processes and outcomes. Finally, we argue that, following Bourdieu's own public strategies of sociopolitical action, educational research methodology that is radically reflexive has the capacity to found a critically effective discourse with practical consequences.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21463
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/014256904200026989
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Education Management and Support
University of the West of England

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