Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society


Understanding Class: Applying Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice to Mapping Working-Class Mothers’ Lives

Project Description

The main aim of the research is to attempt to document the subjective realities of class with a particular focus on the habitus and the field. While sociology continues to contest the relevance of class much new research has begun the focus on understanding how class actually operates at the level of the individual. This research attempts to document in detail the ordinary everyday practices that underpin how power is daily negotiated and internalised. My research unpacks with close attention to detail how the reality of the field of the school of education subtly works to exclude in a complex multifaceted manner. I also document the subjective realities of continuously managing money and what it does to mothers over time. In this, I try to make accessible the economic habitus in a move away from the traditional structural understandings of money.

Project Details

Principal Investigators:

Mary O’Donoghue



External Partners:




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Project Outputs

Publications related to the project:

O’Donoghue, M. Putting working-class mothers in their place: social stratification, the field of education, and Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice, British Journal of Sociology of Education, e-published, 16 Aug 2012, forthcoming in the print journal

Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society