Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor

Research Student

Department of Sociology

Key Expertise
Education, Elites, Inequality, Qualitative Research Methods, Peer Research

About me

Research Topic:

Confidence as Symbolic Capital? A case study of an elite independent school in London


Professor Mike Savage (Department of Sociology) and Professor Rita Astuti (Department of Anthropology)

Research Interests:

Sociology of education; Sociology of elites; Gender, class and inequality; Qualitative research methodologies; Peer research

Thesis Abstract:

This research engages with the work of Khan to ask further questions of the interactions taking place in elite schools in the UK. The study uses ethnography to investigate how the (re)production of privilege occurs within an independent school setting in England. There is a specific focus on the nature of the relationship between students and teachers whereby pedagogical practices support and reinforce a ‘culture of negotiation.’ This is articulated through a particular form of confidence, exhibited by students, teachers and also parents in response to the blurring and testing of boundaries on a day to day basis. The study aims to further explore how this confidence is inculcated as well as the ways in which it is articulated, understood and embodied by students.