Racializing Media Discourses and Parental Perceptions of Stigmatised Student Populations: Implications for Marketized Schooling

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:55
Oral Presentation
Joel WINDLE, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
This paper analyses some ways in which racializing discourses interact with the spatial and social dynamics of marketized schooling. It identifies conflicting discourses that contribute to the polarisation of school social composition and resourcing in the Australian state of Victoria. Media narratives around “ethnic” gangs contribute to wider discourses surrounding working-class neighborhoods and schools as dangerous and violent “hotspots”. At the same time, some elite private schools discursively produce themselves as providing a ladder of opportunity for talented and deserving minority youth. The paper draws on critical discourse analysis, based on media reporting on refugees, and interviews with parents selecting a secondary school for their children. Although some parental concerns mirror media reporting, many create alternative narratives and rely on personal and local histories to make sense of racialized student populations. The findings have implications for the management of school choice as a policy framework, suggesting that its exclusionary effects are heightened in the context of intense media and political attention to refugees as racialized subjects.