Study Group Events

Measuring Social Class: Bourdieusian Approaches

BSA Bourdieu Study Group Event in Conjunction with the Centre for the  Analysis of Social Policy (CASP)
University of Bath

Friday 15th November 2013 (Please note due to unforeseen circumstances the date of this event has changed from the 5th to the 15th of November)

12pm -5pm followed by a wine reception 5pm – 6pm

Speakers: Prof. Mike Savage (London School of Economics) & Dr. Will Atkinson (University of Bristol)
Debates around ways of measuring social class have recently gained momentum through the
work of Savage et al, popularized by the Great British Class Survey, a major study of social class
patterns in contemporary Britain. This work draws on the many criticisms that have persisted
over the last decade or more about the inadequacy of models of class analysis that rely
fundamentally on an economic measurement of class position. These criticisms flag up the
complexities of social class measurement and suggest that other factors such as social and
cultural capital are important in trying to locate someone’s class position. These multiple
factors of analysis have become increasingly important as patterns of work and consumption
have changed with the loss of industry within the UK and other capitalist societies. This
workshop aims to generate discussion about the best ways to try to define and measure social
class in contemporary Britain. It will do so by drawing on Bourdieusian theory and engaging
with papers by Professor Mike Savage and Dr. Will Atkinson, who each offer their own
perspective on utilizing a multiple capitals approach to ascertaining class positioning. It will
interrogate the problems and benefits of using these approaches and consider the best ways in
which Bourdieusian theory can forward class analysis. The workshop is limited to 50 people
and will involve keynote presentations as well as discussion groups.
This event costs £30 for BSA members and £40 for non-members and includes refreshments
and lunch.
To register please click here

Early booking is recommended as we anticipate this to be a popular event.
For further information please contact: or Tel: (0191) 383 0839

For academic queries please contact: Dr. Nicola Ingram at

Leaflets here


Forthcoming Event: Bourdieu and Social Class 


The BSA Bourdieu study group will be hosting a special event on Bourdieu and Social Class with Prof. Mike Savage (London School of Economics) and Dr. Will Atkinson (University of Bristol) as our key note speakers.

Prof Savage and Dr Atkinson along with Dr Roberts have recently edited Class Inequality in Austerity Britain: Power, Difference and Suffering. Prof. Mike Savage will talk about his research into the highly publicised  Great British Class Survey. While Dr Will Atkinson – who currently convenes the University of Bristol research Network on Class and Power – will discuss his own research on social class.

The event will follow the Bourdieu study group’s usual format in which there will be lots of room for discussion and debate.

The event will be held in November 2013 at the University of Bath. More details on the exact date and how to book will follow soon!


BSA Bourdieu Study Group Event: Bourdieu and Passeron

Monday 17 June 2013, BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London SW6 2PY

Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron co-authored many works together most noticeably The Inheritors (1964 [1979]) and Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture (1970, [1977]). The co-authorship of Bourdieu and Passeron undoubtedly was influenced by a common project within competing Western European traditions of philosophy of social science. Bourdieu and Passeron ceased to collaborate in about 1972. Bourdieu in the following thirty years until his death in 2002 enjoyed an international reputation.

Bourdieu and Passeron

The intention of this event is to carry out an initial examination of the co-authored works as well as study the recent production of Passeron’s translated Le Raisonnement Sociologique (1991) – Sociological Reasoning (2013). Sociological Reasoning highlights the differences between the approaches of Passeron and Bourdieu as well as exemplifies how Passeron distinguishes himself with the contention that there can be differences of intellectual and artistic production in spite of similarities of social trajectory (Robbins, 2013, p.18).
The event will be broken up into a series of key note talks by Prof Derek Robbins (UEL) and Dr Simon Susen (City University) as well as workshops. In the workshops participants will discuss various texts (given beforehand) and engage specifically with their differences in relation to social, cultural and educational reproduction. This will give concrete examples of the different views of Bourdieu and Passeron about the nature of social science.


11.00: Refreshments 11.30: Session 1: Prof Derek Robbins will give a background to the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron between 1960 and 1972, and background to the subsequent development of Jean-Claude Passeron’s work leading to Sociological Reasoning.

12.45 – 13.45: Lunch

13.45: Session 2: Dr Simon Susen on Bourdieu and Science illustrating the shared interest in epistemology and methodology between Passeron and Bourdieu.

15.00: Refreshments.

15.30: Session 3: Workshops on Pierre Bourdieu: “Cultural reproduction and social reproduction” (1973) and Jean-Claude Passeron: “Hegel, or the stowaway” (Chapter 4 of Sociological Reasoning). These workshops and discussions will be related to Bourdieu and Passeron’s: Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture (1977).

17.15-17.30: Closing remarks
Delegate fees (Lunch & refreshments included):
BSA Members: £20.00, Non-members: £30.00
To register please go to:

For further information Email: or Tel. (0191) 383 0839


BSA Bourdieu Study Group event: Gender and Bourdieu, “Is doing gender unavoidable?”

Thursday 13th December 2012, School of Law and Social Science, University of East London

Bourdieu first entered the sociological discussion of gender relationships in the 1990s. In 1998 he published  La Domination masculine . Bourdieu argues that the relations between men and women are tied to masculine domination and that this masculine domination or habitus gives men and women a specific role in society.

Bourdieu’s work often causes divisions between feminists. Many argue that although he explored gender relations in his work he paid very little attention to feminist theory, focusing instead on gendering of taste or how structured sexual division of labour generates a sexually differentiated perspective on the world. However, others dispute this insisting that  his contribution has scarcely been recognized by feminists. They claim that one of Bourdieu’s most important insights is that gender is present in all social relationships.  Furthermore, Bourdieu’s work is valuable to feminist approaches because theoretical frameworks and political programmes are always embedded in social relations.

There has been a range of responses to Bourdieu from feminists and this event will aim to bring together different perspectives for discussion with key note speakers: Dr Catherine Hakim,  Dr Lisa Mckenzie and Professor Derek Robbins.

Dr Catherine Hakim is renowned for coining the term ‘erotic capital‘, referring to a person’s  combination of physical and social attractiveness and its power in all social interactions; in the workplace, politics and in public life generally, as well as in the invisible negotiations of private relationships. Her publicationHoney-Money: The Power of Erotic Capital  has received large scale mainstream media attention. She has published extensively on changing patterns of employment, women’s employment and women’s position in society, occupational segregation and the pay gap. She sits on the Editorial Boards of several academic journals, including  the European Sociological Review and International Sociology

Dr Lisa Mckenzie’s research has focused upon class inequalities of men and women living on council estates within the UK, using a collaborative ethnographic approach whilst applying the work of Pierre Bourdieu, with particular influence relating to symbolic violence, capital exchange, and power relationships with neo-liberal structures. She currently holds an Early Years Leverhulme Research Fellowship at the University of Nottingham within the school of sociology and social policy. Her current research is a re-study of the 1970 Coates and Silburn St Anns ‘Poverty’ study, focusing upon the changing shapes of community, family, and belonging in contemporary Britain.

Prof Derek Robbins has long been one of the leading exponents of Pierre Bourdieu’s theories in the fields of sociology and is a favourite with the Bourdieu study group. He is Professor of International Social Theory at the University of East London, where he also is Director of the Group for the Study of International Social Science in the School of Law and Social Science. He is the editor of the four-volume collection of articles on Bourdieu in the Sage Masters of Contemporary Social Thought series (2000). His most recent publication: French Post-War Social Theory sets up a Bourdieusian investigation of the habitus of the five French social thinkers; Aron, Althusser, Foucault, Lyotard, Bourdieu.

As a study group, we’re always very interested in the new ways Bourdieu’s concepts can be applied and hope you will join us for what is likely to be a lively discussion.

The event will take place at the University of East London, Docklands Campus on Thursday 13thDecember 2012.

More details including how to book for the event will be placed here shortly.


10-30-11.00: Registration and tea and coffee
11.00-12.15: Dr Catherine Hakim key note speech
12.15-13.15: Lunch
13.15-14.30: Dr Lisa Mckenzie key note speech
14.30-14.45: Refreshments
14.45-16.00: Prof. Derek Robbins Key note speech: “La domination masculine and social constructionism”.
16.00-17.00: Discussions with key note speakers
17.00-17.30: Wine reception.

Please note that our last study group event sold out with a few days. To avoid disappointment please book early. Click here to book your place.

BSA members £20.00

Non BSA members £30.00


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