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Factories for Learning: Making: Race, Class and Inequality in the Neoliberal Academy Christy Kulz Manchester University Press. 2017. 208 pages. £14.99 paperback

Ball, SJ; (2018) Factories for Learning: Making: Race, Class and Inequality in the Neoliberal Academy Christy Kulz Manchester University Press. 2017. 208 pages. £14.99 paperback. [Review]. Social Forces , 97 (1) , Article e14. 10.1093/sf/soy073. Green open access

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Abstract

As noted by Heidi Mirza in the preface, this book sits in a long-standing UK tradition of school ethnographies that stretches back to Colin Lacey’s Hightown Grammar, published by Manchester University Press like this book. The Hightown Grammar (Lacey 1970) study was undertaken in what was then the Manchester Department of Sociology and Anthropology, alongside a secondary modern study by David Hargreaves—Social Relations in a Secondary School (Hargreaves 1967)—and a girls’ grammar study by Audrey Lambart (Lambart 2010). My own Beachside Comprehensive (Ball 1981) sought to extend this tradition, and was an attempt to follow up Lacey and Hargreaves’s work on social class inequalities in a comprehensive school setting. The studies in this tradition explore in different ways the various institutional processes of discrimination and exclusion that have impacts on the well-being, opportunities, and subjectivities of some students over and against the rewards and re-affirmation experienced by others, with a particular focus on the dividing practices and classifications that work to disadvantage working-class students. These ethnographies were to various extents influenced by the methods and commitments of the Chicago School of Sociology, and traces of this are also evident in Kulz’s book in the way in which Dreamfields Academy, the school in question, is carefully located in its urban setting and in its policy context, as a solution to the problems of student underperformance and concomitant social inequality in education. But Factories for Learning is set in a broader landscape of race and gender inequalities as well as those of social class. The engaging style of the book and the presence of the author in the text are also reminiscent of some recent Chicago school ethnographies, like Pattillo-McCoy’s (2000) Black Picket Fences.

Type: Article
Title: Factories for Learning: Making: Race, Class and Inequality in the Neoliberal Academy Christy Kulz Manchester University Press. 2017. 208 pages. £14.99 paperback
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/sf/soy073
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soy073
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058531
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