Class acts? Working class student officers in students’ unions

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6 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the recent emergence of ‘working-class student officer’ roles in students’ unions associated with elite UK universities. These student representative roles are designed to represent the interests of working-class students within their universities and sit alongside student representatives for liberation groups and/or student communities. Based on interviews with postholders and using Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and field and Reay’s applications of a ‘reflexive habitus’, I explore how these students have come to assert a public and political ‘working-class student’ identity within their universities. Their commentaries reveal the ‘makings of class’ in a context where students are very aware of claims for recognition and the ‘hidden injuries of class’ and offer an insight into how working-class students are finding new ways to navigate their classed identities in HE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-392
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bourdieu
  • higher education
  • social class
  • students
  • Students’ unions


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