Intellectual histories in the field of education management in the UK

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The field of education management has grown rapidly in the UK in the last 40 years, and central to this has been the location of members within higher education institutions. Field members have been able to develop a research agenda, validate award-bearing courses, publish books and articles, and network at home and internationally. The field has located itself within the academy through staking claims for particular territory. The field has positioned itself around the practitioner, mainly within the school, as manager and leader, and there is an ongoing debate regarding the interplay between theory and practice. Field members have networked extensively abroad, and it is argued that the field's existence owes much to the encouragement and research base of the fields in North America and Australia. The project reported on in this paper is about developing intellectual histories of the field. I use Bourdieu's theory of practice to study how the habitus of field members is revealed through positioning, and how they have sought to distinguish their work from, but at times networked with, those located in school effectiveness, school improvement, and policy studies. In this paper I focus on the boundary between the field of education management and education policy sociology, and use Bourdieu to think through the positioning and repositioning that has taken place regarding macro and micro policy studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-349
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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