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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Oakleigh Welply

Welply,O. (2019). A crisis in education? An Arendtian perspective on citizenship and belonging in France and England. British Journal of Sociology of Education 40(6): 759-775.

Author(s) from Durham


This article draws together a comparative sociological analysis and a political theory perspective to interpret children’s views on the role of school and being a pupil, and what these tell us about their conceptual representations of citizenship and belonging in France and England. The article presents research findings from a cross-national ethnographic study with children aged 10 and 11 years in two primary schools, one in France and one in England. This article shows that children’s views generally reflected national value orientations around citizenship and belonging, but that these conceptions of citizenship were not always fully understood by children, and masked, in some cases, deeper mechanisms of exclusion. This raises questions about the place of citizenship in education in France and England, and calls for a deeper understanding of the ways in which conceptions of citizenship are formed through children’s experience of school.