Sociology seminar: Education and the Working Classes


School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work


Our Sociology team hosted a hugely successful seminar this week, on the emotional dynamics and consequences of class-based inequalities in UK education, featuring the distinguished Sociologist of Education, Professor Diane Reay (Cambridge).

Powerful and, at times, poignant, the seminar showcased the importance of Sociology, and the Sociological Imagination, for understanding and explaining how the structures and policies of the contemporary and increasingly competitive educational regime may actually perpetuate and deepen social inequality, and how such structures are experienced, particularly by the working classes. These emotional impacts (shame, anxiety, anger, lack of confidence) may have profound effects on children and young people and their families, not only in terms of their educational attainment, participation and aspirations, but at the deepest levels of their selves and psyches, their identities, sense of self, and self-confidence.

The seminar brought together academics, professionals, practitioners, teachers and students in areas such as education, health, youth agencies, social work, early years, widening participation and higher and further education. Read more about Sociology at the School of SSESW at

Latest News