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Title: Discourses of inclusion
Author: Dunne, Linda
ISNI:       0000 0001 3435 9052
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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Inclusion has become a taken for granted practice of schooling in the UK and it is presented as a fundamental good within a progressive narrative. This study draws on poststructuralist theories and uses discourse analysis as a research approach to interrogate and critique inclusion, to find out what the assumptions are behind it. A main aim was to consider how the contemporary discourse(s) of inclusion, as a body of knowledge, is constructed and constituted in education, and to critically explore its potential effects. This study addresses the question: whose interests are served by the way inclusion is talked about and represented in education in the present context? A range of practitioners who work in education were invited to provide their interpretation of inclusion, either via a drawing and discussion of the drawing, or through an online discussion forum. Their responses formed inter-textual data sets that were then analysed and the discourses that emerged are presented in a reading. Inclusion is read as a contemporary discourse and practice that is characterised by sub-discourses that are constructed within a powerful 'othering' framework. The grids of specification (Foucault, 1972) within its discourse, that are related to re-iterations of special educational needs and a focus on self-esteem, potentially 'other' and exclude. It is suggested that inclusion in the present context is aligned with neo-liberalism, with a focus on the self, self-government and the development of entrepreneurial identities Masschelein and Simons (2002). In this respect, inclusion, as a discourse and practice, appears to serve the neo-liberal interests of the state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available