The “Jack Wills Brigade”: Brands, Embodiment and Class Identities in Higher Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter highlights the subtleties of the 'fit and misfit'; the experiences of 'fitting in' and 'standing out'; and the complex negotiations of class identities within higher education. The research analysis emphasises the visual and sociocultural means of distinction in the everyday experiences of undergraduates in two English universities. As such this research joins a significant body of work focusing on undergraduate student experience most of which has concentrated particularly on experiences of (dis)advantage and/or exclusion within and between different higher education institutions (HEIs). Bourdieu's work and his concept of habitus as embodiment, the social incorporated into the body, 'of power as subtly inculcated through the body' offers enormous potential for theorizing social class. One of the most common ways in which participants talked about class and normative student identities was in relation to the figure of the 'rah'.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigher Education and Social Inequalities University Admissions, Experiences, and Outcome
EditorsR Waller, N Ingram, M Ward
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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