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‘Race’, Whiteness and the curriculum: Deconstructing everyday processes of racialization in educational institutions in postcolonial England, and their structured invisibility

O'Rourke, Fiona. 2016. ‘Race’, Whiteness and the curriculum: Deconstructing everyday processes of racialization in educational institutions in postcolonial England, and their structured invisibility. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Despite ‘race’ equality legislation in England, Whiteness – a political and ideological system of power that maintains ‘White’ raced hegemony, is reproduced everyday in its educational institutions in and through a Eurocentric National Curriculum that implicitly valorizes ‘White’ raced subjects in subtle ways that often appear neutral or invisible. The persistent and repeated patterning of Whiteness in and through these educational systems and structures is seen to represent a form of tacit intentionality on the part of powerholders and state education policymakers in postcolonial England. However, these institutionalized practices of Whiteness, and the processes of racialization that have historically maintained them, have not yet been critically analysed, which serves to further facilitate and secure their hegemonic power and structured invisibility by enabling them to remain concealed. This thesis critically historicizes how Whiteness, and its structured invisibility, has been socially produced in educational institutions in postcolonial England in and through the curriculum, unconsciously or otherwise. This is a subversive move that intends to critically expose and analyse how Whiteness has tenaciously secured its hegemony, and structured invisibility, over time, in ways that intend to suggest strategies for deconstructing it to make curricular knowledges and practices equitable. Empirical data is drawn from four sources – curricular texts, including English state curriculum policies, examination syllabi and pedagogical resources, teacher participant interview data, classroom observations and a research diary, which are all framed within a qualitative methodological approach. This data is critically analysed using a range of theoretical frameworks – critical Whiteness studies, racialization, Foucauldian, Lacanian and Butlerian theory. Key research findings indicate that the processes of racialization that enable Whiteness to maintain itself, and its structured invisibility, are complex and multi-faceted involving structural, historical, political, discursive, visual, unconscious, affective, micro-social and embodied configurations. This research has implications for state curriculum policymakers, educational institutions, teacher educators and teachers.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00018539

Keywords:

Race, Whiteness, racialization, curriculum, imperialism, colonialism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Date:

31 May 2016

Item ID:

18539

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2016 09:33

Last Modified:

15 Jul 2018 19:47

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/18539

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