© 2018

Working-Class Boys and Educational Success

Teenage Identities, Masculinities and Urban Schooling


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 1-14
  3. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 15-45
  4. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 47-80
  5. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 99-134
  6. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 135-168
  7. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 169-202
  8. Nicola Ingram
    Pages 203-221
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 223-244

About this book


This book examines the complex relationship between working-class masculinities and educational success. Drawing on a small sample of young men attending either a selective grammar or a secondary school in the same urban area of Belfast, the author demonstrates that contrary to popular belief, some working-class boys are engaged with education, are motivated to succeed and have high aspirations. However, the structures of schooling in a society where working class-ness is seen as feckless, tasteless and cultureless make the processes of becoming successful more challenging than they need to be. This volume reveals the unique processes of reconciling success and identities for individual working-class boys, and the important role schools have to play in this negotiation. Highly relevant to those engaged in teacher training in socially unequal societies, this book will also appeal to practitioners, sociologists of education, scholars of social justice and Bourdieusian theorists.


education schooling teaching teenagers secondary school education and identity working class boys urban schooling schooling belfast

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational ResearchLancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Nicola Ingram is Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice at Lancaster University, UK. She is a co-author of Higher Education, Social Mobility and Social Class: the Degree Generation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and co-editor of Bourdieu: the Next Generation. She has published widely on class and gendered inequalities.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Working-Class Boys and Educational Success
  • Book Subtitle Teenage Identities, Masculinities and Urban Schooling
  • Authors Nicola Ingram
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-40158-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-68019-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-40159-5
  • Series ISSN 2524-6445
  • Series E-ISSN 2524-6453
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 244
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Gender and Education
    Teaching and Teacher Education
    Sociology of Education
    Schools and Schooling
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“The book provides insight into the complex relationship between social class and education. … Working-Class Boys and Educational Success makes a valuable contribution to the literature on class, education, and identity. … Ingram’s work pushes scholars and educational administrators to think more critically about inequality and how to combat such issues in the school environment.” (Erica Morales, Boyhood Studies, Vol. 12 (1), 2019)