Professor Farzana Shain

Staff details

Professor Farzana Shain


Head of Department


Educational Studies


F.Shain (

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Farzana is a sociologist of education. She specialises in educational inequalities and education policy and politics.

Farzana joined Goldsmiths in 2020 as George Wood Professor in Education. She previously worked at Keele University where she was promoted to 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, classed and gendered inequalities) and also education policy and politics. She is a former Executive Editor of British Journal of Sociology of Education (2015-2023) and also on the Editorial Boards of the following journals:

• Human Rights Education Review Editorial Board 2017- present
• Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Diversity-Advisory Board
• Journal of Global Faultlines Editorial Team

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, with ESRC funding, a 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.

Current/recent projects include:
• Generation Delta - UKRI - Research England funded project 2022-2026
• 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

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.

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. 2024. Addressing the triple challenge of populism, nationalism and colonial amnesia. In: Audrey Osler and Beate Goldschmidt-Gjerløw, eds. Nordic Perspectives on Human Rights Education Research and Practice for Social Justice. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781032375373

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


Hayes, Aneta and Shain, Farzana. 2023. Whiteness, citizenship of class and educational privilege of Eastern European pupils in British schools. Whiteness and Education, 8(1), pp. 82-100. 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; Qadir, Parvez and Henderson, Kirstie. 2020. Changing The Narrative.