Fragmented ideologies: Accounts of educational failure and positive discrimination

Potter, Jonathan and Wetherell, Margaret (1989). Fragmented ideologies: Accounts of educational failure and positive discrimination. Text - Interdiciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse, 9(2) pp. 175–190.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1989.9.2.175

Abstract

This paper reports a discourse analytic study which forms part of a larger project concerned with the way white majority group members in New Zealand make sense of race and ‘race relations’. Its focus is on accounts of educational inequality and criticisms of positive discrimination programmes. The analysis documents (a) the way talk on these topics is produced using pre-existing resources (the ‘togetherness repertoire’ and the ‘meritocratic model of education’); (b) the way it subtly orientates to pragmatic constraints such as issues of potential blame and justification; (c) the fragmented nature of participants’ ordinary reasoning about social issues.

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