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Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture

Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture

Second Edition

August 1990 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The way in which the ruling ideas of a social system are related to structures of class, production and power, and how these are legitimated and perpetuated, is fundamental to the sociological project.

In this second edition of this classic text, which includes a new introduction by Pierre Bourdieu, the authors develop an analysis of education (in its broadest sense, encompassing more than the process of formal education). They show how education carries an essentially arbitrary cultural scheme which is actually, though not in appearance, based on power. More widely, the reproduction of culture through education is shown to play a key part in the reproduction of the whole social system.

The analysis is carried through not only in theoretical terms but through the development of empirically testable propositions within the wider framework of the historical transformation of the educational system.

Pierre Bourdieu
Preface to the Second Edition
Tom Bottomore
Cultural Capital and Pedagogic Communication
The Literate Tradition and Social Conservation
Exclusion and Selection
Dependence through Independence
The Changing Structure of Higher Education Opportunities

Redistribution or Translation?


Reveals new features in the analysis of social classes and political power. Arising probably from the intense interest in cultural dominance and cultural revolution that emerged in radical movements... these investigations connect cultural phenomena firmly within the structural characteristics of a society, and begin to show how a culture produced by this structure in turn helps to maintain it.

Tom Bottomore

The most striking successes of their work are their redefinitions of the very character of educational research... There is an especially brilliant discussion of the relations between a traditional literary culture and selection for arts courses. 

Raymond Williams

Overly complex for an introductory course. Useful as teacher support but not for general consumption at the level I teach

Dr Sean McCusker
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
March 30, 2016

Very good for extending student knowledge of Sociology and how it is influenced by culture, family, wider society, social norms and values. Most students were not aware of his work and were able to understand how class can influence learning, progression, status and success. Some are intending to purchase it to read more thoroughly around the subject

Ms Gillian Anthony
New College Nottingham, New College Nottingham
October 7, 2015

This is a canonical book which I will be happy to recommend to my students. It addresses challenging areas of sociology which are directly applicable to their studies.

Mr Steve Courtney
Manchester Institute of Education, Manchester University
May 14, 2015

A classic text on the interplay between habitus, fields and doxa in the sphere of education. Bourdieu's entertaining foreword to the 1990 edition rejects the view of this book as being "structuralist" and dismisses "pompous" academic terms such as "paradigms". This is a highly influential piece of research that demonstrates how class and social inequalities are reproduced in higher education. Essential reading for anyone working or studying at a university or school.

Mrs Udeni Salmon
Salford Business School, Salford University
January 12, 2016

A classic book which I would highly recommend for those who are social researchers. There are growing number of undergraduates who are making a good attempt in applying the theoretical framework introduced in this book.

Ms Eva Mikuska
Childhood Studies (Bishop Otter), Chichester University
January 29, 2014

Useful for those doing dissertations in the area

Dr Donna Woodhouse
HWB, Sheffield Hallam University
July 2, 2012

I may recommend this book for supplimental reading but not what I had hoped it would be

Mr Mark Timoney
Humanities , Sligo Institute of Technology
June 12, 2012

Recommended as further reading to students interested in expanding their theoretical views on education and society. Oftentimes heavy going but worth the effort.

Ms Nisrin AlTabba
Dept of Education, North Lindsey College
April 26, 2012

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ISBN: 9780803983205