Department of Education

Mr Sol Gamsu

Researcher focussing on how spatial inequalities of class and race combine to produce particular forms of structural educational inequality.

Photograph of Sol Gamsu (29170_023)
Research Assistant BA, MPhil

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 4790

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I recently submitted my ESRC-funded PhD in geography at King's College London, and am now a researcher on the ESRC-funded project, Geographies of Higher Education: Spatial and social mobilities.

My interests lie at the intersection of sociology, geography and history and the central theme running through my work is how structures and experiences of power and inequality in education are reproduced over time and through different local and regional geographies.

My PhD examined how long-term regional inequalities continue to shape the geography of young peoples' post-16 to higher education trajectories. Specifically, it focussed on disentangling London-specific middle-class and elite ‘circuits of education’ from broader national socio-spatial patterns of social reproduction through the school system.
There were three central findings, firstly that London’s ‘super-state’ schools form part of a ‘new urban elitism’ in education which is largely distinctive to London and some of the more affluent towns and cities of the South-East.

Second, drawing on an analysis of regional trends in private schooling since the 2008-09 crisis, as well as data on catchment-area housing costs and the role of ethnic minority suburbanisation at an elite suburban grammar school, I revealed new lines of regional division in middle-class identities and orientations to subtly different institutional hierarchies of education.

Finally, I showed how stable middle-class enclaves around particular primary and secondary schools, traditionally in suburban areas but increasingly in central areas in London too, form a national pattern with an associated set of local, middle-class ‘continuity’ circuits. I took a mixed-methods approach including the analysis of large scale datasets, interviews with young people and a historical analysis of government commissions on education.

Research interests

  • Class analysis with a current focus on elites
  • Urban sociologies of education
  • Historical geographies and sociologies of education
  • Regional inequality in the UK
  • GIS and social network analysis

Current projects