Social haunting in a former coalmining community: Primary school teachers’ perspectives on working-class boys’ experiences of schooling in post-industrial Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper complicates Avery Gordon's notion of ‘haunting’ to critically examine the educational experiences of working-class boys attending Lillydown Primary, a state school for pupils aged 3–11 in a former coalmining community in the north of England. It uses the notion of social haunting to demonstrate how particular modes of ‘being and doing’ traditionally associated with coalmining communities continue to affect the boys’ experiences of schooling, even though the British coal industry no longer exists, and the local colliery closed before they were born. The central argument of the paper is that by recognising the fullness of a social haunting, it is possible to engage working-class boys in educational processes and experiences from which they might otherwise feel excluded, alienated, or detached.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102289
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Early online date23 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Cite this