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ERIC Number: EJ858162
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1356-2517
The "Biographical Turn" in University Sociology Teaching: A Bernsteinian Analysis
McLean, Monica; Abbas, Andrea
Teaching in Higher Education, v14 n5 p529-539 Oct 2009
Little is known about what happens to disciplinary knowledge when it is taught in contemporary UK universities of different status. Here, Basil Bernstein's theories are applied to what sociology lecturers say about teaching, demonstrating that in conditions in which students are less likely to engage with sociological theory, lecturers, particularly in universities of lower status, employ "biographical methods" to ensure that a "core" of sociology remains intact and sociology is reproduced in students. Students' lives are used as subject matter to teach the relevance and value of sociology. Attention is drawn to how, while this pedagogic strategy might result in a powerless form of "pop sociology", in this case, lecturers bring theory, student research and application into a dynamic relationship which unexpectedly suggests that, at present, sociology might be more easily preserved in the less prestigious universities. (Contains 9 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom