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Politics, religion and morals: the symbolism of public schooling for the urban middle-class identity

journal contribution
posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Emma RoweEmma Rowe
Research points to sections of the middle-class repopulating the ‘ordinary’ urban public school and whilst there are key differences in how they are navigating public school choices, from ‘seeking a critical mass’ (Posey-Maddox, Kimelberg, and Cucchiara 2014) to resisting traditional methods of choice and going ‘against-the-grain’ (Reay, Crozier, and James 2013), or collectively campaigning for a brand new public school, the urban middle-class are developing contemporary methods to challenge the existing ways of thinking about middle-class choice. Drawing on this literature, this paper explores the symbolism of public schooling for relatively affluent choosers in the city of Melbourne, Australia. The positioning of public schooling as essentially secular and liberal indicates how the public school is valorised within the contemporary market place. Within a market that tends to under-sell the public school, the perceived lack of organized religion and progressivism may be the unique selling point for the cosmopolitan, globalized consumer.

History

Journal

International studies in sociology of education

Volume

26

Issue

1

Pagination

36 - 50

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1747-5066

eISSN

1747-5066

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Taylor & Francis