The consumer, the market and the universal aristocracy: the ideology of academisation in England
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AbstractIn 2018, academies accounted for 72% of all English secondary schools, compared to 6% in 2009 (National Audit Office, 2018). English academy schooling conforms to marketizing trends in international education reform, but Conservative politicians have also attempted to promote particular moral values. This article analyses the tensions between neoliberalism and neoconservatism and applies this analysis to a concrete debate taking place within the Conservative Party in the 2000s and 2010s. It uses arguments made by an illustrative group of Conservative politicians to explore and analyse the tension between these two reform trends. The aim of this article is twofold. Firstly, it will present the key arguments which were marshalled by a selection of thinkers affiliated with the Conservative Party in favour of educational reform. It will do this by analysing Conservative articulations of the failure of state education; the role of the consumer and the relationship between democracy and the market. Secondly, it will explore the degree to which marketizing and traditionalist impulses in education reform should be considered complimentary or contradictory. I will conclude by arguing that the parent-consumer functions as a vanishing mediator between neoliberal and neoconservative ideological positions.
CitationHoctor T (2022) 'The consumer, the market and the universal aristocracy: the ideology of academisation in England', Journal of Consumer Culture, 23 (2), pp.294-311.
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
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