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The Revolt of Aspirations: Contesting Neoliberal Social Hope

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journal contribution
posted on 05.09.2013, 11:40 by Gavin Phillip Brown
This paper considers the English student protests of late 2010 in the context of the politics of aspiration. Aspiration is a particular form of neoliberal social hope based around promoting individualised social mobility. It has been central to British education policy since 1997, especially those policies designed to widen and increase participation in higher education. I argue that the student protests reveal both the success of these policy interventions around young people’s aspirations and the limits of the politics of aspiration. This paper examines the contradictory effects of the politics of aspiration on different groups of students and traces how this shaped the rhetoric of the protestors. The intervention concludes by considering the need for radical activists to (re)configure new forms of social hope as an alternative to aspiration, and as an integral part of exploring alternatives to a market-driven education system.

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Citation

ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 2013, 12 (3), pp. 419-430

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Geography/Human Geography

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies

Publisher

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

eissn

1492-9732

Copyright date

2013

Available date

05/09/2013

Publisher version

http://www.acme-journal.org/volume12-3.html

Language

en

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