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Title: Positionings, policies and practices in the UK's current higher education sector in the context of neo-liberalism : an exploration of the subject position of the female learning support assistant, as they practise their art and craft in the everyday
Author: Hayward, Beverley Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 5577
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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In the UK, 2019, neoliberalism's collision with austerity is often the landscape in which education is situated. This is the context for a small cohort of women learning support assistants (LSAs) working at a UK university. Considered in this context are the subject positions and practices that overlap and intersect with the policies that shape higher education and disability. This unique milieu has produced a complex layering of shifting subject positionings for all in education, most notably in this research it is that of the LSA as artist-educator-practitioner and the resilient learner. In order to make sense of the multiple threads I weave together, I use the concepts developed by Foucault and Cixous. In a Foucauldian framework, I analyse discourse and how power/knowledges operate in the LSAs' landscape. From a close reading of Cixous's conceptualisation of the écriture feminine, I suggest that there are spaces outside of discourse facilitating transformations. The methodologies used are situated in an auto/ethnographical and auto/biographical approach, where I take up the subject position of the creative-feminine-bricoleur. As the bricoleur, the data collected from interviews and craft-artwork piece together a collage that curates a collective of shared experiences. Their practices and knowledge production, embodied in their (art)work, might otherwise have been lost as they make their exits from the academy. Therefore, this thesis makes a significant contribution to the limited knowledge produced and goes some way towards understanding the work of the LSA in this particular space and time. It is a story that documents the LSAs' abilities to transgress and resist their positions of marginalisation over a twelve-year period before being made redundant. Accordingly, I celebrate our subjectivities as LSAs, artist-educators, and in this political act of writing, I hope to the right the social injustices that sought to oppress women's place in the artworld and education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available