Department of Educational Research
Cartmel College
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YL

E-mail: j.murphy@lancaster.ac.uk
Tel:   (01524) 592885

Fax:  (01524) 592914

Career Details

On completing  the MA course in the Department in 1971-2, I commenced teaching in the Department. 
Having worked at Lancaster since 1972, I have naturally been involved in teaching at all levels - undergraduate and postgraduate. Currently, I teach and tutor on the first year course. I am jointly responsible for  the second term workshop 'Equal Opportunities' . In addition, I run the second/third year undergraduate course - 'Schooling in Contemporary Society' . I am a member of the policy team for the MA course. I also the tutor responsible for the research  'induction' course for overseas students. 
Research Interests

My research interests reside mainly  in the classic policy issues and divide into three general areas.

1  class race and gender

2  the  school effect 

3 the role of higher education in fostering economic and social development

More particularly, my interest is with the assumptions that drive current thinking on these matters.  Presently, I am working on the belief that has, for the last twenty years, informed government policy on schools - namely that politicians can 'lift' standards.  It is an interest grew out of a consideration of  that other and equally popular presumption that regards education, especially higher education, as an economic investment. My long-term intention is to consider the extent to which the grand claims made for education over the years merely reflect the prejudices of the educated. In short, my research interest is driven by a concern with  the socially dangerous and economically damaging consequences of the growing  preoccupation  with education in high places.. 


The following papers reflect the interests outlined above.

(1974) Teacher Expectations and working class underachievement. British Journal of Sociology, 25(3).

(1978) Education and Equality. Educational Studies, 4(1).

(1981) Disparity and Inequality in Education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2(1).
This article was:
(a) Reprinted in: McNay, I. & Ozga, J. (eds)( 1985) Education Policy Making. Pergamon Press.
(b) The subject of 'When a Difference is not a Difference'. E. Mahon, (1985) British Journal of Sociology, 36(1).
(c) The subject of 'Section 5' in the Open University reader Policy Making in Education, B. Cosin (ed).

(1981) Class Inequality in Education. British Journal of Sociology, 32(2).

(1982) Cutting back for good. T.H.E.S. 5 November

(1984) Giving ignorance a bad name. T.E.S. 9 November.

(1985) Does the difference schools make, make a difference. British Journal of Sociology, 26(1).
This article was:
(a) The main review in Education, 28 June.1985
(b) Reviewed in New Society 7 November.1985

(1986) Over-rating Inequality. British Journal of Sociology, 37(3).

(1986) Overrating Inequality and Ignoring the Difference. A reply to Mahon. British Journal of Sociology, 37(3), 392-396.

(1987) Reducing Educational Disadvantage. Review Essay. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 57(Pr.2), 257-9.

(1989) Does Inequality Matter - Educationally? In F. Macleod (ed) Parents and Schools: The Contemporary Challenge, 11-30. Falmer Press.

(1989) Race, Education and Intellectual Prejudice in In F. Macleod (ed) Parents and Schools: The Contemporary Challenge, 31-44. Falmer Press.

(1989) Graduation Daze. Feature Article in T.E.S. 20 January.

(1989) A Growing Glut of Graduates. The Times. 10 July.

(1990) The School Effect: facts, figures and artefacts. The International Journal of School Effectiveness, 1(1), 81-86.

(1990) A most respectable prejudice - the role of academic preference in post war policy and research. The British Journal of Sociology, 41(1), 29-54.
This article was the subject of Cohen, J. (1990) 'Murphy, Boudon and a most respectable prejudice' British Journal of Sociology 41(4), 473-475.

(1990) A nation of swots. The Guardian, 20 March.

(1991) Over-educated and under-employed - British Graduates in the 1990s. Review essay. Journal of Educational Policy 6(2)

(1992) A Most Respectable Prejudice - Reply to Cohen. British Journal of Sociology 43(9), 485-488.

(1992) IMS Graduate Review. Review essay. Journal of Educational Policy 7(1).

(1992) Are standards really falling? Education 179(13), 115-118, March.

(1993) Do we really need more graduates. Education 33(70), July.

(1993) A degree of waste: the economic benefits of educational expansion. Oxford Review of Education 19(1), 9-31.
This article was:
(a) The subject of "A degree of waste - a dissenting view". G. Johnes (1993) Oxford Review of Education 19(4)
(b) Reviewed: "Self imposed stranglehold on recovery". M. Dixon (1993) Financial Times, 23 June.
(c) Reviewed: "Graduates to join lost generation". N. Pyke (1993) T.E.S, 19 March
(d) Reviewed: "Learning beyond our means". N. Pyke (1993) T.E.S., 10 September

(1993) A degree of success. Polemic. The Observer. Sunday 15 August

(1993) Dangerous Delusions. Education. July

(1994) Graduates: a burden not a benefit! The Observer Sunday September 10

(1994) A degree of waste: a reply to Johnes. Oxford Review of Education 20(1)

(1994) The Graduate from Mass Higher Education. In S. Haselgrove (ed) The Student Experience. SRHE.

1995 Frogs, Ducks and Tigers. Education. Sept 8

Currently, I am the Departmental Admissions Tutor.