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ERIC Number: EJ1083041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-4805
Problematizing the Relationship between Rural Small Schools and Communities: Implications for Youth Lives
Cuervo, Hernán
Alberta Journal of Educational Research, v60 n4 p643-655 Win 2014
Small schools are often the hub of many rural communities. In the school space, a multiplicity of social, economic and political relationships are sustained, which enhance the vitality of the community. As such, the relationship between small schools and communities is often presented as a powerful one; however, too often as a harmonious, natural and simple construction. This paper article argues that when education, youth and communities are defined through apparently simple, universal, natural and neutral conceptualizations, these are commonly based on prescribed norms that reflect the dominant values of an hegemonic majority. These homogeneous and universal conceptualizations of education, youth and community serve to legitimize processes of inequality and marginalization, and to undermine the goals these aim to contribute to. This article draws from disciplines such sociology of youth, education, rural studies and political theory to problematize the relationship between small schools and communities in rural spaces by analyzing the intersection of education and youth policies, as constructed by neoliberal policies, and the idea of community as presented by communitarians. It argues for the need to rethink the relationship between small schools and communities towards a more plural and socially just one that overcomes processes of exclusion and marginalization.
University of Alberta, Faculty of Education. 845 Education Centre South, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5, Canada. Tel: 780-492-7941; Fax: 780-492-0236; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A