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Roehampton University Research Repository > Education > Department of Education Collection > Heroes or zeroes? the discursive positioning of ‘underachieving boys’ in English neo-liberal education policy

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10142/31811
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Title: Heroes or zeroes? the discursive positioning of ‘underachieving boys’ in English neo-liberal education policy
Authors: Francis, Becky
Citation: Francis, Becky. "Heroes or zeroes? The discursive positioning of ‘underachieving boys’ in English neo-liberal education policy" Journal of Education Policy 21.2 (2006). 01 Jul. 2008
Publisher: Routledge
Journal: Journal of Education Policy
Issue Date: Mar-2006
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02680930500500278
DOI: 10.1080/02680930500500278
Abstract: The moral panic concerning ‘boys’ underachievement’ is well established in the UK and Australia, and is spreading to other countries. Feminists have articulated concerns that this debate has reflected a ‘poor boys’ discourse with negative permutations for girls’ schooling; and there is much evidence to support this claim. However, it is argued here that as a result of the location of underachievement in the individual rather than with social structures by neo-liberal policy movements, in England certain groups of ‘failing’ boys are increasingly being problematized rather than valorized. Boys generally are presented as vulnerable and ‘at risk’. The ‘poor boys’ discourse position these boys as in need of help and attention. But within these practices certain groups of boys are beginning to be demonized for their apparent wastefulness of resources and failure to take responsibility for their own achievement. The article draws on work by Bauman and Foucault as well as feminist theory in order to tease out some of the complex inter-weavings of gender and neo-liberal discourses at work in English educational policy
Type: Article
Language: en
Keywords: underachievement
boys
England
education policy
ISSN: 0268-0939
1464-5106
Appears in Collections: Department of Education Collection

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