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ERIC Number: EJ870387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
The Problem with Autonomy: An Ethnographic Study of Neoliberalism in Practice at an Australian High School
Forsey, Martin
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v30 n4 p457-469 Dec 2009
The research reported here demonstrates the need for greater subtlety in the practice of policy than appears to be evident in many parts of the globe. Based upon an ethnographic study of school reform, this paper heeds Appadurai's call for those researching the "global diaspora of ideas" to pay attention to the contextual conventions governing their translation. This allows us to contemplate how beliefs and practices produced as part of a global swirl of ideas are adapted to meet local conditions. In other words, it is study of neoliberalism in practice. A single-minded focus on neoliberal ideals, in particular on the apparent need for individual autonomy, caused various key players to lose sight of the pragmatic realities of running an education system catering for a diverse population spread unevenly across an enormous expanse of land. Contrary to a commonsense view of the public service as a stultifying force, I argue it can, and does, play a significant role in maintaining some level of commitment to equity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia