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Title: Citizenship education policy in England : a post-structuralist critique
Author: Clemitshaw, Gary John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 876X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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The aim of this study is to present a critique of recent citizenship education policy in England and the discourse that it has prompted. It considers the important philosophical and political principles by which both of these are justified, and which often incorporate a commitment to the pursuit of social justice, democratic participation, inclusion and equality. In developing this critique the thesis draws on philosophical ideas which may be referred to as poststructuralism, particularly Foucault's concept of governmentality, and Derrida's concept of deconstruction to examine and expose the universalist principles of enlightenment philosophy upon which recent citizenship policy and discourse are based. In order to achieve this aim the thesis is divided into three parts. Part One provides a narrative account of citizenship education policy in England and considers the enlightenment philosophy on which it has been erected. Part Two develops a post-structuralist critique of enlightenment philosophy and uses this as a basis for reconsidering the project of mass education and schooling in general and citizenship education policy in particular. Part Three of the thesis criticises the discourse that citizenship education has prompted and develops a detailed critique of the particular approach to citizenship education emanating from the position of cosmopolitanism. Put briefly, the main conclusion to be drawn from the inquiry undertaken in the thesis is that recent citizenship education policy can best be understood as an exercise in liberal governmentality, with the aim of shaping "the conduct of conduct" within a normative, disciplinary rationality. However, although this conclusion renders problematic the ambitions of progressive-radical critique, including cosmopolitanism, to prescribe a citizenship education for democracy and social justice, it is suggested that these ambitions can be usefully reformulated through a deconstructive analysis of policy and discourse.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available