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This collection of groundbreaking studies breaks with the tradition of gauging inequality by looking 'down' at at-risk or poverty-disadvantaged schools and shifts the gaze of inquiry 'up' toward the experiences of privilege in educational environments characterized by wealth and the abundance of material resources.
Recent efforts emphasize the roles that privilege and elite education play in shaping affluent youths’ identities. Despite various backgrounds, the common qualities shared among the eight adolescents showcased in this book lead them to form particular understandings of self, others, and the world around them that serve as means for them to negotiate their privilege. These self-understandings are crucial for them to feel more at ease with being privileged, foster a positive sense of self, and reduce the negative feelings associated with their advantages – thus managing expectations for future success. Offering an intimate and comprehensive view of affluent adolescents’ inner lives and understandings, Negotiating Privilege and Identity in Educational Contexts explores these qualities and provides an important alternative perspective on privilege and how privilege works. The case studies in this volume explore different settings and lived experiences of eight privileged adolescents who, influenced by various sources, actively construct and cultivate their own privilege. Their stories address a wide range of issues relevant to the study of adolescence and the various social class factors that mediate adolescents’ educational experiences and identities.
Geography matters to elite schools — to how they function and flourish, to how they locate themselves and their Others. Like their privileged clientele they use geography as a resource to elevate themselves. They mark, and market, place. This collection, as a whole, reads elite schools through a spatial lens. It offers fresh lines of inquiry to the ‘new sociology of elite schools.’ Collectively the authors examine elite schools and systems in different parts of the world. They highlight the ways that these schools, and their clients, operate within diverse local, national, regional, and global contexts in order to shape their own and their clients’ privilege and prestige. The collection also points to the uses of the transnational as a resource via the International Baccalaureate, study tours, and the discourses of global citizenship. Building on research about social class, meritocracy, privilege, and power in education, it offers inventive critical lenses and insights particularly from the ‘Global South.’ As such it is an intervention in global power/knowledge geographies.
Elite Education – International Perspectives is the first book to systematically examine elite education in different parts of the world. Authors provide a historical analysis of the emergence of national elite education systems and consider how recent policy and economic developments are changing the configuration of elite trajectories and the social groups benefiting from these. Through country-level case studies, this book offers readers an in-depth account of elite education systems in the Anglophone world, in Europe and in the emerging financial centres of Africa, Asia and Latin America. A series of commentaries highlight commonalities and differences between elite education systems, and offer insights into broader theoretical issues, with which educationalists, researchers and policy makers are engaging . With authors including Stephen J. Ball, Donald Broady, Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, Heinz-Hermann Krüger, Maria Alice Nogueira, Julia Resnik and Agnès van Zanten, the book offers a benchmark perspective on issues frequently glossed over in comparative education, including the processes by which powerful groups retain privilege and ‘elite’ status in rapidly changing societies. Elite Education – International Perspectives will appeal to policy makers and academics in the fields of education and sociology. Simultaneously it will be of special relevance to post-graduates enrolled on courses in the sociology of education, education policy, and education and international development.
Young women’s identities are an issue of public and academic interest across a number of western nations at the present time. This book explores how young women attending an elite school for girls understand and construct ‘empowerment’. It investigates the extent to which, and the ways in which, their constructions of empowerment and identity work to overturn, or resist, key regulations and normative expectations for girls in post-feminist, hyper-sexualised cultural contexts. The book provides a succinct overview of feminist theorisations of normative femininities in young women’s lives in western cultural contexts. It includes familiar sexist discourses such as sexual double standards, as well as more recent commentary about the regulation of young women’s subjectivities in neoliberal, post-feminist, hyper-sexualised cultures. Drawing on ethnographic research in the context of an elite girls’ secondary school, the author explores how empowerment for young women is constructed and understood across a range of textual practices. From visual representations of young women in school promotional material, to students’ constructions of popular celebrities, the question of how girls’ resistance to normative femininities begins to develop is examined. This rich empirical work makes a unique contribution to the study of elite schooling within the sociology of education, drawing on important insights from the field of critical girlhood studies, and posing a challenge to popular feminist notions about media literacy, young women and empowerment. It will be of interest to scholars and postgraduates in the areas of gender studies, sociology, education, youth studies and cultural studies.
As one of the most prestigious high schools in the nation, St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, has long been the exclusive domain of America's wealthiest sons. But times have changed. Today, a new elite of boys and girls is being molded at St. Paul's, one that reflects the hope of openness but also the persistence of inequality. In Privilege, Shamus Khan returns to his alma mater to provide an inside look at an institution that has been the private realm of the elite for the past 150 years. He shows that St. Paul's students continue to learn what they always have--how to embody privilege. Yet, while students once leveraged the trappings of upper-class entitlement, family connections, and high culture, current St. Paul's students learn to succeed in a more diverse environment. To be the future leaders of a more democratic world, they must be at ease with everything from highbrow art to everyday life--from Beowulf to Jaws--and view hierarchies as ladders to scale. Through deft portrayals of the relationships among students, faculty, and staff, Khan shows how members of the new elite face the opening of society while still preserving the advantages that allow them to rule.
How can teachers bridge the gap between their commitments to social justice and their day to day practice? This is the question author Adam Howard asked as he began teaching at an elite private school and the question that led him to conduct a six-year study on affluent schooling. Unfamiliar with the educational landscape of privilege and abundance, he began exploring the burning questions he had as a teacher on the lessons affluent students are taught in schooling about their place in the world, their relationships with others, and who they are. Grounded in an extensive ethnographic account, Learning Privilege examines the concept of privilege itself and the cultural and social processes in schooling that reinforce and regenerate privilege. Howard explores what educators, students and families at elite schools value most in education and how these values guide ways of knowing and doing that both create high standards for their educational programs and reinforce privilege as a collective identity. This book illustrates the ways that affluent students construct their own privilege,not, fundamentally, as what they have, but, rather, as who they are.

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