Paul Wakeling

Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, University of York,
Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK

Paul Wakeling


Research interests

Broadly speaking, my research interests are in:

  • the sociology of education, especially higher education
  • the sociology of stratification and social mobility
  • the sociology of inequality, covering gender, race/ethnicity and social class

Specifically I work on:

  • inequalities in access to postgraduate study by social class, gender and ethnicity
  • institutional stratification in higher education
  • empirical testing of theories in the sociology of education (persistent, effectively maintained and maximially maintained inequality, Bourdieusian capitals, relative risk averson, contest and sponsorship mobility)
  • academia as a 'field of power'
  • comparative study of educational expansion and its relation to inequality etc

I have a scholarly interest in sociological research methods, but I am not active in methodological research per se. I am also interested in the macro-sociology of social change as it relates to education, the history of education and social stratification as this forms the basis of much of my teaching.


I have a couple of main projects 'on the go' at the moment.

I am developing publications arising from various aspects of HEFCE's Postgraduate Support Scheme which I was closely involved with at different levels. Some of this is conjunction with Sally Hancock (York) and Gillian Hampden-Thompson (Sussex).

I am also writing a book with Vikki Boliver (Durham) about institutional stratification in UK higher education.


Page updated 3 August 2016