Pierre Bourdieu is a dominant figure in the sociology of education, providing a conceptual framework that is almost indispensable to understanding current work in the field. In a review of four recent collections of work in this tradition, Garth Stahl sees evidence of scholars thinking with and beyond Bourdieu in ways that are ‘most vibrant, and perhaps most just, when the analysis had Bourdieu’s toolbox in full operation, where it was clear how the tools were used relationally and where one conceptual tool was not used at the expense of another’. Stahl’s comment is a reflection of the complexity and density of Bourdieu’s framework, in which each idea relies on the others for its full meaning and weight. Moreover, the Bourdieusian tradition is a living one, and scholars have frequently gone beyond Bourdieu to reuse and reinterpret his concepts in ways that diverge to a greater or lesser extent from their original context and meaning. This chapter aims to engage with the complexity of Bourdieu’s thought and legacy, beginning with an exposition of the central concepts before moving to an exploration of his theory of class and its relevance to contemporary educational research. Although some scholars have argued that Bourdieu’s approach to cultural reproduction is incompatible with observed patterns of educational expansion and inequality, the chapter argues that the relationship between capital, habitus and field is sufficiently flexible to accommodate such patterns.