Restructuring, reform and refraction: Complexities of response to imposed social change

Ivor Goodson, Timothy Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper further develops the concept of ‘refraction’ (Goodson & Rudd 2012; Rudd & Goodson 2014), which we have been seeking to formulate over the last five years. Refraction is conceived of as a conceptual tool intended to support complex and rich methodological and theoretical explorations of educational discourse, systems, policies and practice. Refraction seeks to simultaneously examine structure and agency and the interrelationships between them, whilst also placing historical and contextual influence at the heart of explorations. Hence we have vertical refraction focussing on structure and agency and historical refraction focussing on the changing historical contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Practice and Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • educational policy
  • historical periodization
  • qualitative methods
  • refraction theory
  • social research


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