Moments of Inclusion and Exclusion: Children negotiating classroom contexts

Shereen Benjamin, M. Nind, K. Hall, Janet Collins, K. Sheehy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses evidence from a small-scale study of two English primary school classrooms to examine school inclusion in its political contexts. We argue that ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’ are complex processes, enacted moment-by-moment by pupils and teachers. Our focus is on the pupils' negotiation of these moments, and we examine how their negotiations are contingent on (although not determined by) a web of intersecting indices of ‘difference’, including differences of social class, ethnicity, gender/sexuality, perceived academic ability and physical appearance. We take a post-structuralist approach, well-known in feminist educational research but less often used in research and thinking about ‘inclusive’ schooling, to foreground children's active role in making sense of social conditions that are not of their own making or choice. We conclude that a politically literate understanding of the processes of inclusion and exclusion is necessary both to highlight the continuing reproduction of educational inequality, and to produce the necessary conditions for egalitarian change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-558
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Moments of Inclusion and Exclusion: Children negotiating classroom contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this