Conclusion: ‘Looking back to look forward’

Rachel K Shanks, Julie Ovington, Beth Cross, Ainsley Dane Carnarvon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As we draw this book to a close we want to (re)turn to reiterate key factors enmeshed with the fabric of school uniforms - what they do and what they do not do. In our opening chapter we drew attention to how uniform(s) mark people out as belonging to an institution or being separated out from institutions. Uniforms create hierarchies and division between the wearers and non-wearers. Creating expectations associated with those institutions and viceversa. School uniform has become a part of the British psyche and has been forced onto other
places rather than simply influencing them. Wearing school uniform has become an unseen ritual in the UK, so much so it is hard for some within the education system to imagine school without uniform. In this book we have tried to point out what uniforms are, and how they interact and affect surroundings, in terms of both the social world and the natural world. We have seen the different threads that separate and draw together the clothes mandated in schools from Poland to Zimbabwe, Scotland to the Caribbean. School uniforms may seem
mundane, but their everyday-ness, the degree to which they are sewn into our lived habits, makes them important sites through which to investigate the materiality of education. The threads of school uniforms are the capillaries through which institutional power flows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchool Uniforms
Subtitle of host publicationNew Materialist Perspectives
EditorsRachel Shanks, Julie Ovington, Beth Cross, Ainsley Carnarvon
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-32939-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-32938-8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameThe Cultural and Social Foundations of Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Conclusion: ‘Looking back to look forward’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this