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Living on the Edge – Rethinking poverty, class and schooling

By Professor Terry Wrigley

9 January 2014

1 – 2 pm

University of East London

Stratford Campus, The Cass Building, ED4.02

Based on his new book (co-authored with John Smyth), Terry Wrigley will outline a long tradition of deficit thinking whereby children growing up in poverty, their families, and those who teach them, are held to blame for low achievement. The history of flawed explanations and faulty evidence includes genetic intelligence, poor parenting and low aspirations.

The material and cultural impact of poverty on children has been intensified and complicated in England through current Austerity politics as well as rigid curriculum standardisation and surveillance. The book also proposes a symbolic interactionist approach, drawing on Bourdieu and Goffman, to understand and respond to the complexity of relationships and (mis)understandings between teachers and students, or schools and communities.

Terry Wrigley, Visiting Professor, Leeds Metropolitan University,

Editor, Improving Schools journal

Co-coordinator of the Infamous 100 Academics letter:


Details on the book:

Living on the Edge – Rethinking poverty, class and schooling


John Smyth and Terry Wrigley

Peter Lang


239 pages




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