Dr Michael Watts

Michael Watts has a particular interest in the sociology and philosophy of education and he brings these disciplines to the work of Relwar.  His main theoretic interests are: (i) the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, which assesses human well-being according to the substantive freedoms individuals have to choose and lead the good life; (ii) Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of education, which considers the social structures delimiting human agency; and (iii) Jean Baudrillard’s concept of the hyperreal, which is concerned with deceit and erasure in a media-generated world (in which, Baudrillard argued, the first Gulf War did not take place).  Linking these theoretic foci is his methodological interest in life history research, which places the stories people tell of their lives in their wider socio-cultural, political educational and – in his work with Relwar – military contexts.  He currently works in the Cambridge Admissions Office where he has a specific brief to develop new initiatives to widen participation.  His current writing projects include hyperreal analyses of higher education policy and of the distortion of Christian identities.  He is lead editor of the journal Power and Education and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy.
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