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The Fifth Basil Bernstein Symposium

Cardiff School of Social Sciences, 9 - 12 July 2008

Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff


A short article by Steve Whitcombe and Elaine Jenkins entitled "Reflections on the Bernstein Symposium" can now be found in the news section of the website.

Following in the footsteps of the four previous residential symposia in the University of Lisbon in 2000, the second symposium at the University of Cape Town in 2002, the third at the University of Cambridge in 2004 and the fourth at Rutgers University-Newark we are pleased to announce the fifth to be held at Cardiff University from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th July 2008.    

In keeping with prior meetings, the purpose of this symposium is to permit scholars from around the world to discuss work undertaken within the broad framework of Bernstein’s theory. In deliberating about possible themes to structure the programme we considered the classics such as Bernstein and class, family, gender, educational institutions and policy, yet decided in the end not to be prescriptive.  As in previous meetings we encourage papers that extend Bernstein’s theoretical framework in new and original ways and/or test empirically Bernstein’s theories in local, national or global contexts. We encourage participants to consider inter-relationships between Bernstein’s oeuvre and other theoretical traditions in order to stimulate critical debates such as the place and direction of the Sociology of Education. In order to sustain the same high level of scholarly discussion as that engendered in the previous events, the symposium will be restricted to 50-60 participants.  We have booked 30 residential places at locations at varying prices, The Hilton Hotel (£150.00 per night), The Park Plaza (£95.00 per night), The Lincoln Hotel (£65.00 per night) and Column Road students’ accommodation (£26.00 per night - a booking form is available in the Related Resources section). All accommodation is en suite and prices are approximates. Further information on accommodation can be found by clicking on the Accommodation Information link on the right. 

If you wish to contribute a paper to the Fifth International Basil Bernstein Symposium, please first send a title and a full abstract of no more than 1,000 words by 1st December 2007 to the conference organiser, Gabrielle Ivinson ( by email who will forward it to the planning group.  Responses to this call for papers will be used to select contributors who will then proceed to the next phase.  Please note that because of the structure of this symposium, it will not be possible to accept all of the submissions.  You will be notified by January 2008 if your abstract has been selected.  Those selected will be asked to submit a full paper (no more than 8,000 words) by June 2008 so that they can be made available to all participants in advance of the Symposium.

In keeping with previous practice, the organizers will be responsible for selecting from submitted abstracts with the aim of producing a programme that is coherent and complementary, that gives fair representation to established and new researchers and which reflects the distribution of interests within the research community in terms of both themes and geographical locale.  The provisional Symposium Programme will be made available on the web by February 2008.  The final session on the morning of Saturday 12th July will be devoted to a discussion for the next symposium in 2010.

A Bernstein Symposium Booking Form is available in the 'Related Resources' section of this page All participants submitting an abstract are advised to submit this form by 1 December 2007 and you are encouraged to book your chosen accommodation at that time. Participants who wish to attend but not give a paper will be able to do so subject to numbers.  They can log their interest in attending by submitting the Bernstein Symposium Booking Form at any time up until 28th March 2008 when the full conference fee is required.

Please note that full details on submission of papers will be found here, on the conference website:

All contributors of papers are urged to look at this information to ensure that they adopt the correct format.

A Provisional Symposium Programme is now available from the 'Related Resources' section of this page


To all residential delegates - the conference fee is due by 31st March 2008. The conference fee which includes all meals except dinner on the evening of Thursday 10th is £185 and is due by March 31st 2008. Please arrange to pay the fee with Sian Moseley at We can provide an invoice for you. The easiest way to pay is by credit card, details can be faxed to +44(0) 2920 874175.

The fee includes all lunches and snacks during the days, a hot buffet on the evening of Wednesday 9th and the conference dinner on Friday 11th July. It does not include breakfast and dinner on Thursday evening.

You are responsible for paying your hotel accommodation and student accommodation. Details about how to pay your pre-booked student accommodation will be available at the end of April 2008.

The full social timetable will be available by the end of April 2008.

Please may we remind you that we require an electronic copy of your full paper by 1st June 2008. All papers will be posted on the website for you to download. In previous years we have all made a big effort to read ALL papers prior to the symposium and we shall be assuming that this is the case this time as well.

Could you submit your full paper to Sian Moseley at by 1st June - Arial type point 12, double spaced.

The Schedule is as follows:

Abstracts (maximum of 1000 words): 1st December 2007

Acceptance of Abstract: 20th December 2007

Final Request for Accommodation: 29th December 2007

Provisional Symposium Programme: Available from the 'Related Resources' section of this page

Final Registration Date: 28th March 2008

Payment of Full Registration fee: 28th March 2008

Submission of Full Paper: 1st June 2008

Symposium Dates: Wed. 9th to Sat. 12th July 2008


We would be delighted if you felt able to contribute to the Symposium either as a contributor or participant and look forward to meeting you in Cardiff 2008.

Brian Davies, John Fitz, Jaamiah Galant, Gabrielle Ivinson, Parlo Singh, Sally Power

Fifth International Basil Bernstein Symposium Planning Group