Disadvantaged Youths’ Imagined Futures and School Choice
This chapter examines how school choice practice in the particular urban context of Vancouver affects disadvantaged students' educational experiences as well as their imagined futures. It attempts to bring forth a new theoretical lens of imaginary capital to reconceptualize the impact of school choice on young learners. School choice in Vancouver has become more common since the early 1970s, when the Board implemented an open enrollment policy and district alternative programs, which are locally referred to as mini schools. A number of economic, political, geographical, and sociological theories have been developed to theorize how school choice affects disadvantaged youths. The neoliberal imaginary of the market has reconstituted and reconstructed the education system in a way that encourages highly qualified and motivated students to align with the neoliberal values of choice, competition, and specialization.