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Selling education through “culture”: responses to the market by new, non-government schools

Abstract

The move to a market model of schooling has seen a radical restructuring of the ways schooling is “done” in recent times in Western countries. Although there has been a great deal of work to examine the effects of a market model on local school management (LSM), teachers’ work and university systems, relatively little has been done to examine its effect on parents’ choice of school in the non-government sector in Australia. This study examines the reasons parents give for choosing a nongovernment school in the outer suburbs of one large city in Australia. Drawing on the work of Bourdieu specifically his ideas on “cultural capital” (1977), this study revealed that parents were choosing the non-government school over the government school to ensure that their children would be provided, through the school’s emphasis on cultural capital, access to a perceived “better life” thus enhancing the potential to facilitate “extraordinary children”, one of the school’s marketing claims.

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English, R. Selling education through “culture”: responses to the market by new, non-government schools. Aust. Educ. Res. 36, 89–104 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03216894

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Keywords

  • Cultural Capital
  • Market Model
  • School Choice
  • Government School
  • Critical Discourse Analysis