Professor Farzana Shain

Staff details

Position Head of Department
Department Educational Studies
Email F.Shain (
Phone +44 (0)20 8228 5606
Professor Farzana Shain

Farzana joined Goldsmiths in January 2020 as the George Wood Professor in Education. Before starting her academic career, she taught A level Sociology at Newcastle-under-Lyme College of Further Education and also worked for a brief period for Victim Support in London. Farzana took up a lectureship at Keele University in 1999 and was awarded a personal chair as Professor of Sociology of Education in 2013. At Keele, Farzana directed the Centre for Social Policy research between 2015 and 2019 and she also led the ‘Tackling Inequalities’ research theme within Keele’s Institute for Social Inclusion from 2018 until she left in December 2019.

Farzana researches and teaches in the field of sociology of education. She specialises in educational inequalities (with a particular focus on racialised and gendered inequalities)  and also education policy and politics. 

She is an Executive Editor of British Journal of Sociology of Education and also on the Editorial Boards of the following journals:

Research Interests

Farzana’s research and publications are in the area of sociology of education on the theme of education and social justice.  She has conducted research on a range of topics including an ESRC project on neoliberalism and the changing cultures of education management and leadership. More recently her research has been focused on educational inequalities, social justice and citizenship with a particular focus on how children and young people make sense of global social/economic/political change in their local contexts.  She researches intersecting inequalities with a strong focus on race, gender and social class.

Some current/recent projects include:

  • ‘Change the Narrative’.  A Film collaboration exploring British Muslim girls’ accounts of their educational lives with Parvez Qadir and Kirstie Henderson with part funding from the Leverhulme Trust 2019-20
  • ‘In the shadow of  9/11: Muslim girls’ narrative accounts of past, present and future lives’.  Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2017-19
  • ‘ Raising Attainment at KS1’.  Stoke City Council funded project (PI, with Dr Ruth Dann and Dr Laura Watt) 2013-2016.
  • ‘Children’s understanding of peak oil’.  British Academy small grants funded (PI, with Prof Bulent Gokay) 2012-2013, with follow-on funding from Keele University to research Children’s understanding of Fracking (PI with Bulent Gokay and  Sian Edwards both of Keele, in 2016-7

Farzana is currently collaborating with colleagues at Keele University on projects focused on food poverty and education.

Other research interests include Sociology of education, inequalities and social justice, race and racism, gender and education, education policy and politics, Britishness, education and the war on terror.

Goldsmiths Research Centres

Areas of supervision

Educational inequalities/social exclusion/social justice; race and racism; gender and education;  education policy and politics;  educational implications of 9/11 and the war on terror. 

Completed PhD students

She has supervised nineteen candidates for successful completion:

  • Tracey Wire  'Sex education in primary schools' PhD Education, Keele, 2019
  • Maria Neary ‘Inhabiting a woman’s world: Male General Nurses in Ireland’   EdD, Keele, 2018
  • Nadena Doherty  (Faculty Studentship) ‘Black History Month and Black History in the National Curriculum in the UK’   PhD Education, Keele, 2017
  • Samira Nicholas, ‘The relationship between technology integration and the development of global citizenship skills and attitudes in a Lebanese context’  EdD, Keele, 2017
  • Jennifer Wells  ‘Boys literacy and learning in primary education’ EdD, Keele, 2016
  • Andrew Middleton ‘Decision making on ICT, EdD, Keele, 2016
  • Sian Edwards   ‘Problematic youth?’ PhD in Education, Keele, 2015
  • Emrah Celik 'Between Religion and secularization: an ethnographic study of Turkish University Students'  PhD, Sociology, Keele, 2015
  • Mary Furey  'Managing parallel risks: pastoral care in further education'  EdD, Keele, 2015
  • Tom O’Connor  ‘Men in the  nursing profession: masculinities and gendered identities’ EdD, Keele, 2012
  • Mary Bradshaw    'Women managers' perspectives on the further education maelstrom ', EdD, Keele, 2010
  • Hazel Mackey   'The narrative construction of professional identities: the case of occupational therapy' PhD, Public Policy, Keele, 2010 
  • Virgina Fisher  'Double, double toil and (GENDER) trouble' a feminist ethnography of the performance of gender and sexuality within a business school' EdD, Keele, 2010 
  • Julie Harrower   'New managerialism, women managers in the academy, and the regulation of the gendered identities’ EdD, Keele, 2006 

 Co/second supervised:

  • Linda McGhie ‘The identity of Higher Education lecturers in Further Education Colleges’ EdD, Keele, 2017
  • Hefin Gwylim ‘The declared political identity of social workers in a neoliberal era’  DSW, Keele, 2016 
  • Elizabeth Ellis Martin 'Dare to be different, dare to progress: a case study of a Key Stage 4 Pupil Referral Unit 2009-12'  EdD, Keele, 2015 
  • Kay Norman ' Year 11 pupils’ perceptions of nursing: an exploratory study'  EdD Keele, 2014
  • Francis Farrell  ‘Encountering Difference’: a study of adolescent males’ masculine identity work and its relationship to secondary age phase religious education’, EdD, Keele , 2012
  • Ruby Green   ‘A feminist ethnographic study of the socio-cultural factors that influence sex education in Guyana’ EdD, Keele, 2006 
  • Gillian Forrester  ‘Primary Teachers and Performance Related Pay’  PhD Education, Keele, 2003


Publications and research outputs


Shain, Farzana. 2011. The New Folk Devils: Muslim Boys and Education in England. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books. ISBN 9781858564425

Shain, Farzana. 2003. The Schooling and Identity and Asian Girls. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books. ISBN 9781858561813

Edited Book

Bhopal, Kalwant and Shain, Farzana, eds. 2015. Neoliberalism and Education Rearticulating Social Justice and Inclusion, 1st Edition. New York, NY: USA: Routledge. ISBN 9781138182530

Edited Journal

Bhopal, Kalwant and Shain, Farzana, eds. 2014. British Journal of Sociology of Education (Special Issue): Educational inclusion: towards a social justice agenda?, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35(5). 0142-5692

Book Section

Shain, Farzana. 2020. Educating. In: S Mathewman; B Curtis and D Mayeda, eds. Being Sociological. London: Macmillan International (Red Globe Press), pp. 219-236. ISBN 9781352011159

Shain, Farzana. 2020. Minority Students in the UK. In: M David and M Amey, eds. The Sage Encyclopedia of Higher Education. Sage, pp. 1062-1064. ISBN 9781473942912

Shain, Farzana. 2017. Dangerous radicals or symbols of crisis and change: re-theorising the status of Muslim boys as a threat to the social order. In: Máirtín Mac an Ghaill and Chris Haywood, eds. Muslim Students, Education and Neoliberalism: Schooling a 'Suspect Community'. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 17-33. ISBN 9781137569219

Shain, Farzana. 2014. Intersections of 'race', class and gender in the social and political identifications of young Muslims in England. In: Kalwant Bhopal and John Preston, eds. Intersectionality and "Race" in Education. London: Routledge, pp. 138-156. ISBN 9781138021518

Shain, Farzana. 2010. Refusing to Integrate: Asian girls, achievement and the experience of schooling. In: C Jackson; Carrie F. Paechter and E Renold, eds. Girls and Education 3-16: Continuing concerns. Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 62-74. ISBN 9780335235629

Gleeson, Denis and Shain, Farzana. 2002. Managing Ambiguity in Further Education. In: N Bennett; M Crawford and M Cartright, eds. Effective Educational Leadership. Sage, pp. 229-246. ISBN 9780761940562


Hayes, Aneta and Shain, Farzana. 2021. Whiteness, citizenship of class and educational privilege of Eastern European pupils in British schools. Whiteness and Education, ISSN 2379-3406

Shain, Farzana. 2021. Navigating the unequal education space in post-9/11 England: British Muslim girls talk about their educational aspirations and future expectations. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53(3), pp. 270-287. ISSN 0013-1857

Shain, Farzana; Yildiz, Umit; Poku, Veronica and Gokay, Bulent. 2021. From silence to ‘strategic advancement’: institutional responses to ‘decolonising’ in higher education in England. Teaching in Higher Education, 26(7-8), pp. 920-936. ISSN 1356-2517

Shain, Farzana. 2020. Race matters: confronting the legacy of empire and colonialism. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 41(2), pp. 272-280. ISSN 0142-5692

KAUR-AUJLA, Harjnder; Shain, Farzana and Lilley, Alison. 2019. A Gap Exposed: What is Known About Sikh Victims of Domestic Violence Abuse (DVA) and Their Mental Health? European Journal of Mental Health, 14(1), 179 -189.

Harwood, Valerie; Olssen, Mark and Shain, Farzana. 2018. Foucault as educator. British Journal of the Sociology of Education, 39(8), pp. 1226-1234. ISSN 0142-5692

Shain, Farzana. 2016. Succeeding against the odds: can schools ‘compensate for society’? Education 3-13, 44(1), pp. 8-18. ISSN 0300-4279

Gokay, Bulent and Shain, Farzana. 2015. Making sense of the protests in Turkey (and Brazil): contesting neo-liberal urbanism in ‘Rebel Cities’. Estudos Ibero-Americanos, 41(2), pp. 242-260. ISSN 0101-4064

Bhopal, Kalwant and Shain, Farzana. 2014. Introduction. Educational inclusion: towards a social justice agenda? British Journal of the Sociology of Education, 35(5), pp. 645-649. ISSN 0142-5692

Gokay, Bulent and Shain, Farzana. 2013. Making sense of the protests in Turkey (and Brazil). Journal of Global Faultlines, 1(2), pp. 58-68. ISSN 2397-7825

Shain, Farzana. 2013. 'The Girl Effect': Exploring Narratives of Gendered Impacts and Opportunities in Neoliberal Development. Sociological Research Online, 18(2), pp. 181-191.

Shain, Farzana. 2013. Race, Nation and Education: An overview of British attempts to manage diversity since the 1950s. Educational Enquiry, 4(1), pp. 63-85. ISSN 2000-4508

Shain, Farzana. 2012. ‘Getting on’ rather than ‘getting by’: ethnicity, class and ‘success against the odds’. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33(1), pp. 153-163. ISSN 0142-5692

Shain, Farzana. 2009. Uneasy Alliances: British Muslims and Socialists since the 1950s. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 25(1), pp. 95-109. ISSN 1352-3279

Shain, Farzana. 2000. Culture, Survival and Resistance: theorizing young Asian women’s experiences and strategies in contemporary British schooling and society. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 21(2), pp. 155-174. ISSN 0159-6306

Gleeson, Denis and Shain, Farzana. 1999. Managing Ambiguity: Between Markets and Managerialism — A Case Study of ‘Middle’ Managers in Further Education. The Sociological Review, 47(3), pp. 461-490. ISSN 0038-0261

Shain, Farzana and Gleeson, Denis. 1999. Under new management: changing conceptions of teacher professionalism and policy in the further education sector. Journal of Education Policy, 14(4), pp. 445-462. ISSN 0268-0939


Shain, Farzana; Qadir, Parvez and Henderson, Kirstie. 2020. Changing The Narrative.

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