Bioscience and the sociology of education: the case for biosocial education

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This article makes a case for biosocial education as a field of research and as a potential framework for education practice. The article engages with sociology of education’s contemporary interests in embodiment and affect, the possibilities offered by concept studies, and uses of assemblage and complexity theory for thinking about educational phenomena. It also considers broader social science and political theory engagements with epigenetics and neuroscience. The article examines the legacy of the biology/sociology split and the risks, limits, and potentialities of degrounded collaborative trans-disciplinary biosocial research. It considers developments in biosciences that may have particular resonance and promise for education, in particular the epigenetics of care and stress and the metabolomics of diet. The article argues that sociology of education should engage with bioscience to interrogate the folding together of the social, cultural, biographical, pedagogic, political, affective, neurological, and biological in the interactive production of students and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1287
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number8
Early online date26 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Omega-3
  • degrounding
  • Biosocial
  • epigenetics
  • complexity
  • assemblage


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