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2.7 “Enabling” Participatory Governance in Education: A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis of Policy in the United Kingdom

Chapter
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

This chapter presents a computer-aided critical discourse analytical method for analysing education policy discourse in historical context. It identifies key procedural steps as well as the central importance of interpretation and contextualisation in assessing the wider socio-political significance of the findings, which are grounded in a political economic account of state education in the UK. The discussion is structured around three distinctive but complementary phases of the methodology. First, corpus linguistic ‘keywords’ analysis is used to track the historical emergence and subsidence of dominant political themes in policy. The chapter then explains how this interdisciplinary method helped identify two significant rhetorical trends in recent policy discourse: ‘personalisation’ and ‘managerialisation’. ‘Personalisation’ involves a more salient role for personal pronouns in constructing an apparently consensual, collectivised representation of policy decisions (Mulderrig, Disc Soc 23:701–728, 2012). ‘Managerialisation’ highlights the operation of ‘soft power’ in contemporary educational governance whereby a particular grammatical transformation constructs an ‘enabling’ leadership role for the government alongside a form of ‘managed autonomy’ for citizens (Mulderrig, Crit Disc Stud 88:45–68, 2011).

Keywords

Social Practice Education Policy Policy Discourse Labour Government Soft Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of English, University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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