NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1128332
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
Heroic Heads, Mobility Mythologies and the Power of Ambiguity
Kulz, Christy
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v38 n2 p85-104 2017
This paper explores how the contradictions of neoliberal education reform and its companion, the self-made aspirational subject, are embodied by Sir Michael Wilshaw, former headteacher of Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, East London, through his leadership practices. Wilshaw creates powerful mobility and morality tales that pave over the contradictions and ambiguities inherent in the academies programme and Mossbourne's approach. Drawing on a larger study of Mossbourne, the paper focuses on how raced and classed pathological discourses are mobilised and inverted both by Wilshaw and policy rhetoric, cultivating compliance through a belief in the aspirational subject capable of transcending social structures. The paper argues that neoliberal academy reforms are not about autonomy, but the imperative to comply with centralised policy demands at the expense of democratic participation and accountability.
Taylor & Francis. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A