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Discourses of inclusion

Dunne, Linda (2009) Discourses of inclusion. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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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.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.489087
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 13:44
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3643

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