Art for a few: exclusions and misrecognitions in higher education admissions practices

Burke, Penny Jane and McManus, Jackie (2011) Art for a few: exclusions and misrecognitions in higher education admissions practices. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32 (5). pp. 699-712. ISSN 0159-6306

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In this article, we examine the policy and practice of admissions to art and design courses in the context of the UK widening participation (WP) agenda. We draw on our qualitative study of admissions practices funded by the National Arts Learning Network (NALN). To provide context and background, we outline and critique WP policy discourses, focusing on issues of admissions and access, followed by an analysis of our research data, drawing on the conceptual tools of subjectivity and misrecognition. In using this analytical approach, we attempt to expose the subtle and insidious workings of inequality and exclusion in processes of selection. We argue that admissions policy problematically conflates notions of ‘fairness’ and ‘transparency’ and fails to address complex socio-cultural inequalities in processes of recognition of the potential student-subject of art and design. We show how a focus on individual practices rather than on policy discourses and processes of subjective construction helps to hide the ways that ‘potential’ is constructed in ways that privilege and recognize particular student subjectivities, whilst excluding others

Item Type: Article
Keywords: admissions, widening participation, policy discourse, subjectivity, misrecognition, exclusion
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education > LC0189 Educational sociology > LC0213 Educational equalisation. Right to education
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Depositing User: Pascale Fanning-Tichborne
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012 14:51
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 09:50
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