Modern state education was essentially formed around the needs and interests of the middle class. The middle classes are currently very much at the centre of all politicians' electoral concerns. Nevertheless sociological and educa-tional research has tended to neglect the middle class. Class Strategies and the Education Market examines the ways in which the middle classes main-tain and improve their social advantages in and through education. Drawing on an extensive series of interviews with parents and children, this book identifies key moments of decision-making in the construction of the educational trajectories of middle-class children. Stephen J. Ball organizes his analysis around the key concepts of social closure, social capital, values and principles and risk, while bringing a broad range of up-to-date socio-logical theory to bear upon his subject. From this thorough analysis, valuable and thought-provoking insights into the assiduous care and con-siderable effort and expenditure, which go into ensuring the educational success of the middle-class child, emerge. The middle classes are a sociological enigma, presenting the social researcher with considerable analytic and theoretical difficulties. Class Strategies and the Education Market provides a set of working tools for class analysis and the examination of class practices. Above all, it offers new ways of thinking about class theory and the relationships between classes in late modern society.
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