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Mediatization and education: a sociological account
chapterposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Shaun RawolleShaun Rawolle, B Lingard
This chapter presents an account of the mediatization of education policy through a focus on the development and uptake of the knowledge economy discourse in national education policy and research settings. During the late 20th and early part of the 21st century, Australia, like other nation states around the globe, came to adopt the knowledge economy discourse as a kind of meta-policy that would help connect a variety of statistical indicators and provide direction for a number of policy areas, including education, science, and research funding. In Australia the adoption of a knowledge economy discourse was preceded by coverage from specialized sections of the quality print media, discussed broadly as a debate about the social contract that was afforded to fields charged with developing and producing national capacities for knowledge production. Such a debate mirrored similar claims by Michael Gibbons in the late 1990s, where he argued for a new social contract between science and society. Given the media coverage surrounding the uptake of the knowledge economy discourse and the promotion of the concept by the OECD, this chapter presents an account of the emergence of the knowledge economy discourse through a focus on the mediatization of the concept. The broad argument presented in this account is that what could be called “mediatization effects”, related to the promotion and adoption of policy concepts, are variable, and reach the broader public in inconsistent, time-bound, and sporadic patterns. In order to understand mediatization effects in respect of policy, the paper draws on a broad Bourdieuian informed conceptual framework to understand different kinds of fields, their logics of practice, and importantly here, cross-field effects. Specifically, the focus is on those cross-field effects related to the impact of practices within both national and global fields of journalism on national and global fields of education policy. While the case is an Australian one, the account explores general and more broadly applicable ways to understand links between the globalization and the mediatization of policy.