About the Convenors

  • Aina Tarabini is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Researcher at the research centre GEPS (Globalisation, Education and Social Policy). Her research is concerned with the (re)production of social inequalities in the daily life of education systems, schools and students. She is particularly interested in the analysis of the processes of teaching and learning, the modes of pedagogic and curricular provision and the students’ identities, experiences and trajectories through the system. Overall, her research aims to connect the subjective, institutional and systemic dimensions of inequality with a qualitative-driven approach. From 2016 to 2020 she has been the principal researcher of the project 'Edupost16. The construction of post-16 educational opportunities. An analysis of post-compulsory educational transitions in urban settings'. Some of her recent books include: Tarabini, A. (2022) Educational Transitions and Social Justice. Understanding Upper Secondary School Choices in Urban Contexts (Policy Press). Tarabini, A. (2019) The Conditions for School Success Examining Educational Exclusion and Dropping Out (Palgrave); Tarabini, A. & Ingram. N. (2018). Educational Choices, Transitions and Aspirations in Europe (Routledge).

  • Derron Wallace is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Education at Brandeis University and Research Fellow at the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester. He is a sociologist of race, ethnicity and education, with deep interests in race, ethnicity, empire and Bourdieusian social theory. He specializes in cross-national studies of structural and cultural inequalities in urban schools across global cities, focusing specifically on the experiences of Black youth. Wallace is the author of the new book, The Culture Trap: Ethnic Expectations and Unequal Schooling for Black Youth (Oxford University Press). His research has been supported by the US-UK Fulbright Commission, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation. Prior to his appointment as an assistant professor, Wallace worked as a community organizer in South London schools and policy analyst in East Africa and the Caribbean.

  • Ruby Brooks is a Lecturer in Early Childhood & Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. Ruby’s PhD explored the positioning of gossip as an emancipatory force within the female dominated early years workforce and the societal devaluation of femininity as a concept. Ruby’s research interests include gender, early childhood, power, feminism and forest school.

  • Marta Curran is an Assistant Professor of Sociology of Education at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Her research has been developed mainly within the research group GEPS (Globalization, Education and Social Policies) and GRISE (Sociology of Education Research Group) and her research areas of interest include understating educational inequalities by focusing on gender and social class, policy analysis, educational transitions, and the internationalization of education. In the last few years, she has been involved in two main projects: "Edupost16. The construction of post-16 educational opportunities. An analysis of post-compulsory educational transitions in urban settings" and "Youth an internationalization in education: The Case of the International Baccalaureate in Spain". She has also extensive experience in knowledge transfer through research contracting in the following topics: early school leaving and youth policies.

  • Sonja Kosunen is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is the leader of the research unit Social studies in Urban Education (SURE), which studies phenomena related to social justice, reproduction and inequalities in education from pre-primary through to higher education. Kosunen’s current research focuses on the stratification of the teaching profession, segregation of teachers, and the (re)production of class-based inequalities in segregated education markets.

  • Franziska Lessky is an Assistant Professor at the University of Innsbruck and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) Vienna. As a sociologist of education and a qualitative as well as quantitative researcher, Franziska is interested in issues of student equity in higher education, educational transitions, graduate employability and careers in academia. She has received several grants and awards for her research, such as the Stephan-Koren-Prize for excellent dissertations, and the Dr. Maria-Schaumayer Award. She serves as a co-convenor of the German-speaking Society for Higher Education Research (Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung - GfHf) and of two networks for early career scholars in the fields of education (ÖFEB Emerging Researchers) and higher education studies (HoFoNa).

  • Flora Petrik is currently studying for a PhD in Education, at the University of Tübingen, Germany. She works as Research Associate and Lecturer at the Department of Foundations of Education at the Institute for Educational Science and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research project explores the experiences of first generation students in Austrian and German Higher Education. She studied Educational Science, German Studies and Comparative Literature in Vienna (Austria) and Jyväskylä (Finland) and is part of the research training group "Doing Transitions", funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Her research interests include education and social inequalities; qualitative methods; social class and Bourdieu's theory of practice.

  • Rachel Stenhouse is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research areas are mathematics education and social justice. Rachel has examined how teachers’ social and cultural capital might advantage their students when applying to elite universities.

  • Amy E. Stich is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia and an affiliate faculty member with the Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies program at the University of Georgia. As a sociologist of education and qualitative researcher, Stich is interested in issues of inequality of educational access, opportunity, and outcome relative to social class and race. Her research has been supported by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation. She is the author of more than 30 publications, including Access to Inequality: Reconsidering Class, Knowledge, and Capital in Higher Education (Lexington Books) and co-editor of The Working Classes and Higher Education: Inequality of Access, Opportunity, and Outcome (Routledge). At the McBee Institute, Stich teaches graduate-level, introductory and advanced courses in qualitative research and social theory.