ABSTRACT

Within the broad theme of forms of representation and their inscription in institutional practices, the specific aim of this chapter is to explore the impact of recent educational developments on forms of racial and ethnic demarcation and contestation, developing the theme of the state’s promotion of market-place values in the public sector. In education, one consequence of this wider trend has been the construction of new parental identities, defined increasingly in terms of ‘consumption’. This represents a step beyond what Claus Offe (1984) suggested when he distinguished consumers from their other roles, for example as voters, workers and family members. Now, through recent educational reforms, parents are being brought directly into the sphere of consumption.