Professor of Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Professor Diane Reay is Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. She is a sociologist working in the area of education but is also interested in broader issues of the relationship between the self and society, the affective and the material. Her priority has been to engage in research with a strong social justice agenda that addresses social inequalities of all kinds.
Her research has a strong theoretical focus and she is particularly interested in developing theorisations of social class and the ways in which it is mediated by gender and ethnicity. This has resulted in researching areas as diverse as boys' underachievement, Black supplementary schooling, higher education access, female management in schools, and pupil peer group cultures.
Research projects include a study of children's relationships to space and place in the city, a project on parental involvement in education and research which develops Pierre Bourdieu's conceptual framework in order to understand gendered and racialised class processes. Recently completed ESRC-funded projects include ones on children's transitions to secondary schooling , choice of higher education, and students' identities and participation as learners. She is currently directing an ESRC project which examines white, middle class identities through an exploration of educational choice. Professor Reay has supervised PhD students across a wide range of areas including Jewish women teachers, psycho-analytic approaches to social class, pupil peer group cultures in primary schools and parental involvement in nurseries.
As well as being an executive editor of British Journal of Sociology of Education, she is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Education Policy and Cultural Sociology.