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Textual strategies of representation and legitimation in New Labour policy discourse.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date2007
Host publicationRenewing dialogues in Marxism and education : openings
EditorsAnthony Green, Glenn Rikowski, Helen Raduntz
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781403974969
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameMarxism and education
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


This chapter presents a critical discourse analysis of education policy texts issued under the New Labour government. The analysis focuses on the discourse representation of key educational actors, as well as the discourse strategies by which policy decisions are legitimated. In order to interpret the sociological significance of the findings, the data is interpreted in relation to its wider socio-economic context. It is postulated that a broadly instrumental rationality underlies the representation of educational actors. This is theorised as an indicator of a general shift towards the commodification of education that stems in part from a subordination of social to economic policy. Furthermore, the texts build an inclusive and vague social identity for the government, which is shown to play a significant role in constructing an apparent consensus over neoliberal policy statements.