23 SES 04 B, Politics of Exclusion and Inclusion
The last couple of decades have witnessed a surge in the use of the policy-as-discourse approach (Ball 1997; Taylor, 2004), and the consequent application, usually with a critical slant, of discourse analysis to policy documents, with the aim of unpacking the rhetoric, and divulging ideologies, harboured by various educational policies. This approach has also been gaining currency in comparative and international educational research, particularly that of the 'newly democratised' countries, where it has been used to unveil the processes of new policy technologies and policy standardisation, shown to involve various forms and degrees of discourse recontextualisation, appropriation, or even simply discourse and rhetoric transfer (Silova, 2009; Steiner-Khamsi, 2009; Fimyar, 2008).
My own research is positioned in the context of a transitioning country, and it explores the formation of the 2001 civic education policy in Serbia, a policy which kick-started the country's first educational reform as it began its departure from various past versions of authoritarianism, and set its course towards a modern democracy as an aspiring member of the European Union. In this study, I have attempted to trace the instigation and the development of this contentious - due to its sudden appearance, relation to the religious education policy, and relative ambiguity in stakeholders' eyes - policy, and connect it to the wider context of the socio-political change in Serbia. Although I have attempted to answer the typical policy sociology questions of 'whos, hows and whys', my purpose was also to provide theorisation of the role of the civic education policy in the ideological project (Fairclough and Wodak, 1997) of building a 'new, modern, European' Serbia, and unsheathe the discursive formations that gave rise to it.
However, rather than just seeing policy as discourse, I have also attempted to incorporate in my theoretical approach Bourdieu's social theory, which could potentially lend some dynamism to the often seemingly agentless, black-and-white portrayals of the relationship between the 'dominant' and the 'dominated' found in some CDA-based research. In effect, I have sought to conceptualise of policy both as discourse and as capital, and explore not only what discourses gave rise to, and are perpetuated by the policy, but also how Serbian policy makers might have used the policy in the meso- and macro-level trading in political and symbolic capital, to influence their position in the global field and international discourse.
Ball, S. J. (1997) Policy Sociology and Critical Social Research: A Personal Review of Recent Education Policy and Policy Research in British Educational Research Journal, 23: 3, pp. 257-274 Bourdieu, P. (1991) (first ed 1977) (ed and introduced by Thompson, J. B.) Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Polity Press. Fairclough, N. (2003) Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge. Fairclough, N. (2009) A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research in Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (eds.) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: SAGE, PP. 162-186. Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (1997) Critical discourse analysis in van Dijk, T. (ed.) Discourse as Social Interaction. London: Sage, pp. 258-289. Fimyar, O. (2008) Policy making in post-communist Ukraine as a sign of emerging governmentality: discourse analysis of curriculum choice and assessment policy documents (1999-2003) in Journal of Education Policy, 23: 6, pp. 571-594. Silova, I. (2009) Adopting the language of the new allies in Steiner-Khamsi, G. (ed.) The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending. New York: Teachers College Press, pp. 75-87. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (ed.) (2009) The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending. New York: Teachers College Press. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2009) Blazing a trail for policy theory and practice in Steiner-Khamsi, G. (ed.) The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending. New York: Teachers College Press, pp. 201-220. Taylor, S. (2004) Researching educational policy and change in 'new times’: using critical discourse analysis in Journal of Education Policy, 19:4, pp. 433-451 Van Dijk, T. (ed) (1997) Discourse as Social Interaction vol. 2. London: SAGE. Wodak, R. and Krzyzanowski, M. (eds) (2009) Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
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