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Professor Patrick Alexander

Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Anthropology


I am a social anthropologist specialising in education, childhood and youth studies. I am a College Lecturer in Social Anthropology, and a researcher in the Oxford University Department of Education working on a range of projects related to aspiration and social identity. I am a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, and a member of the Association of Social Anthropologists, I am also an active member of the Anthropology of Childhood and Youth Special Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association. Patrick is Professor of Education and Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, where he is also Research Lead for Education and Chair of the Children and Young People Research Network.


I studied US and Latin American Studies at King’s College, London as an undergraduate before moving to Oxford for postgraduate study (MSc Social Anthropology, 2005; PGCE English, 2006; DPhil Education, 2011). In 2014 I was awarded a Fulbright Peabody Scholarship to conduct research as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. This project comprised a two year comparative ethnographic study exploring aspiration and imagined futures in urban public/state schools in NYC and London.


  • Alexander, P., Edwards, A., Menter, I., Fancourt, N. (2014)  Raising Aspiration in Oxford City Schools. Oxford: Citi Foundation.
  • Alexander, P. (2013) International Further Education Markets: An Analysis. Hong Kong: British Council.
  • Mills, D. & Alexander, P. (2012) Small Group Teaching: A Toolkit for Learning. York: Higher Education
  • Alexander, P., Marsh, P., Bradley, S. (2008) ‘Annex G: Children and Family Life: Socio-Demographic Changes’, in  The Impact of the Commercial World on Children’s Wellbeing: Report of an Independent
  • Marsh, P., Alexander, P., Bradley, S (2008) Life in the UK Today: The role and citizen impact of Public
  • Marsh, P., Alexander, P. Bradley, S. (2008) Football Passions. Cannon/SIRC.


Alexander, P. (2020) Schooling and Social Identity: Learning to Act Your Age in Contemporary Britain. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book chapters

Alexander, P. (2024) Schooling and Age Imaginaries: Establishing the Foundations of Sameness and Difference in an English Secondary School, in L. Gilliam and C. Markum (eds) Difference and Sameness in Schools:Perspectives from the European Anthropology of Education. Oxford: Berghan.

Alexander, P. (2022) ‘The Ethics of Educational Research in Indigenous Communities’, in Mary Wild and Carol Brown (eds), Ethical Dilemmas in Educational Research. Open University: McGraw Hill Press.

McGregor, D., Frodsham, S, Wilson, H., Alexander, P. (2022) Practical theorising in the professional development of primary teachers: outcomes of the ‘Thinking, Doing, Talking Science’ projectBurn, K., Mutton, T., & Thompson, I. (Eds.) Practical Theorising in Teacher Education: Holding Theory and Practice Together (1st ed.). Routledge.

Alexander P (2018) ‘Boys from the Bronx, Men from Manhattan’, in M. Paule & B. Clack (eds) Success in the Neoliberal Lifecycle: Alternative Perspectives on a Dominant Paradigm. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Alexander, P (2017) ‘Coming of Age Through The Recession: High School Imaginings of Post-Recession Futures in London and New York City’, in J. Nelson and G. Stahl (eds.), Masculinity and Aspiration: International Perspectives in the Era of Neoliberal Education. New York: Routledge.

Alexander, P. (2014) ‘Learning to Act Your Age: ‘age imaginaries’ and media consumption in an English secondary school’ in D. Buckingham, M.J. Kehily & S. Bragg (eds.), Youth Cultures in the Age of Global Media. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Hopwood, N., Alexander, P., Harris-Huemmert, S., McAlpine, L. & Wagstaff, S. (2012) ‘The hidden realities of life as a doctoral student’, V. Mallan & A. Lee (eds.) International Perspectives on Doctoral Education: A Resource for Supervisors and Students. Serang, Malaysia: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles & journal contributions

Alexander, P. (2024) “If education is the key, then school is the lock”: Reparative futures thinking beyond the modern school, Futures, Volume 156 DOI:

Alexander, P., Wright, S, Aldridge, D., Haight, A. (2024)Remembrance and ritual in English schools, Children & Society

Alexander, P., and Perche, J. (2022) Principles of Practice: Confidence and Courage in the pursuit of what it means to be a teacher,  International Education Theory and Practice /Théorie et pratique dans l’éducation internationale, Volume 8, 37-46

Rey-Goyeneche, J. & Alexander, P. (2020) Wolves in the Amazon? Child perceptions of a distant natural environment in an English primary school, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education,DOI:10.1080/10382046.2020.1797099

Annie Haight, A, Wright, S, Aldridge, D & Alexander, P. (2020) Remembrance Day practices in schools: meaning-making in social memory during the First World War centenary, Journal of Beliefs & Values, 42:1, 33-48, DOI: 10.1080/13617672.2019.1692556

Alexander, P., Loewenthal, J., Butt, G. (2019) ‘Fuck It, Shit Happens (FISH)’: a social generations approach to understanding young people’s imaginings of life after school in 2016–2017, Journal of Youth Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2019.1704406

Loewenthal, J., Alexander, P., Butt, G. (2019) ‘Fateful Aspects of Aspiration among Graduates in New York and Los Angeles’, International Studies in Sociology of Education, 28 (03-04), 345-361. DOI:10.1080/09620214.2019.1627898

Alexander, P. and Pollard, D. (2019) “An Attempt to Tip the Scales”: Music and Embodied Capital in an English Secondary School, British Journal of Sociology of Education DOI:

Alexander, P. (2019) ‘The Wedding Present—‘Dare’. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 43(2), 96-99.

Alexander, P (2017) ‘Introduction: Teaching Anthropology in Uncertain Times’, Teaching Anthropology, Vol. 7, Issue 1, pp-1-5.

Alexander, P., Harris-Huemmert, S. & McAlpine, L. (2013) ‘Tools for Reflection on the Identity of Early Career Academics’, International Journal of Academic Development. DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2013.817333

Alexander, P. (2012) ‘Introduction’, Teaching Anthropology: A Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Learning Unlearning Special Edition), Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp.1-5.

Alexander, P. (2007) ‘Rethinking the Toxicity Debate: the vitality of contemporary childhood’, in Education Review, Vol. 20, No.1, pp.57-64.



Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Anthropology
Archaeology and Anthropology
Human Sciences
Academic - Fellows & Lecturers