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Social class inequalities in educational attainment: Measuring social class using capitals, assets and resources

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Social Science
Early online date2 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sep 2020


There is a plethora of measures of social class, and social stratification more widely. Occupation-based measures are most frequently used in social stratification research, although more recently the propriety of such approaches have been questioned. An emerging school of thought advocates the use of more culturally based measures as the most appropriate indicators of an individual’s social class position, an argument predominantly influenced by the work of Bourdieu. In this paper, we evaluate the benefits of a social class measure with a Bourdieusian theoretical foundation compared with an orthodox neo-Weberian occupation-based social class measure, the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC). First, we assess how closely we can replicate the Bourdieusian social class measure reported in Savage et al. ([2013]. A new model of social class: Findings from the BBC's Great British class survey experiment. Sociology). Second, we aim to compare and contrast the capitals, assets and resources based social class measure with the occupation-based National Statistics Socio-economic Classification, in an analysis of inequalities in school GCSE outcomes.

    Research areas

  • social class, educational attainment, UK, Bourdieu, social stratification, United Kingdom, household, longitudinal study

ID: 160558774