Genetics, Epigenetics and Social Justice in Education: Learning as a Complex Biosocial Phenomenon

  • Deborah Youdell


This chapter explores the possibilities offered to social justice-orientated education by bringing insights from sociology and biology together. To shift the limitations of nature versus nurture debates, the chapter foregrounds epigenetics and the entanglement of the social and the biological, making a case for thinking about socially just education biosocially. I suggest that biosocial education research can bring into view molecular, neuronal, metabolic, biochemical, social, cultural, affective, psychic and relational processes operating across multiple scales and temporalities. I then argue that these should be understood as intra-acting productive forces in the complex biosocial phenomena of learning. Understanding learning in this way means that our ambitions for socially just education must attend to this complexity and its biosocial character.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Youdell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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