School choice and constructing the active citizen: Representations and negotiations of active, responsible parenting

Wilkins, Andrew W. (2009). School choice and constructing the active citizen: Representations and negotiations of active, responsible parenting. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ed36

Abstract

A key feature of policy reform and political development in Britain since the 1980s has been the idea that public services are more responsive, flexible and better managed when citizens engage with them as discriminating users or consumers, in education, this approach to reform has been criticised for undermining associations and relations that engender citizenship-based commitments to ideas of public welfarism and a democratic citizenry. This thesis explores diverse sources and types of evidence in order to map the field through which parents are invited to deploy meanings and vocabularies that register a consumerist orientation to school choice, and to illustrate the sets of contrasting and sometimes contradictory discourses enacted by parents in their interpretations and understandings of their role as chooser.

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