‘No fear’: privilege and the navigation of hierarchy at an elite boys’ school in England

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Abstract

This article seeks to contribute to the growing scholarship on elite schooling through an ethnographic study into the distinct micro-practices of the formation and reproduction of privilege taking place within an elite boys’ school in England. The article focuses on the significance of the teacher-student hierarchy as a prism through which to view some of the socialisation processes taking place at the school. Ultimately, it shows that the ‘flattened’ nature of the teacher-student hierarchy results in the students being given the space to learn how to navigate relationships with those in authority without fear or trepidation, thus contributing toward the inculcation of a certain form of embodied privilege or so called ‘ease.’ Furthermore, it is both the successes as well as the failures in the students’ attempts to navigate hierarchies that contribute toward the formation and reproduction of privilege in such settings.

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APA

Taylor, E. (2021). ‘No fear’: privilege and the navigation of hierarchy at an elite boys’ school in England. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 42(7), 935–950. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2021.1953374

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