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The 'anti-public public' and the teachers' counter-public : American neoliberalism in public education at the turn of the century

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Item Summary

Title:The 'anti-public public' and the teachers' counter-public : American neoliberalism in public education at the turn of the century
Authors:Perruso, Amy Anastasia
domestic policy
twentieth century
Date Issued:Dec 2013
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2013]
Abstract:This dissertation examines the emergence of neoliberalism in American domestic policy on the issue of education in the late twentieth century. It illuminates relationships between post-World War II American nation-state building, the repression of egalitarian social and political movements, and the construction of an 'anti-public public' around the 'problem of education' in the context of violent race-based conflict. This 'anti-public' discourse was initially constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s primarily by publicists writing for, and helping to create, reading publics of three widely read American journals, The New Republic, Commentary and Public Interest, and was fundamentally shaped by the raging debates about race, segregation and affirmative action. The 'anti-public' discourse was more broadly publicized and its core ideas popularized with Milton Friedman's PBS television series, "Free to Choose: A Personal Statement," which first aired in 1980.
The impact of neoliberal ideology on public policy became more visible in both state and national legislation on the manufactured 'problem of education' in the late twentieth century, effected by neoliberal alliances across ideological and party lines. These neoliberal alliances were institutionalized in think tanks, governors' organizations and corporate advocacy groups which worked to fundamentally reshape the American nation-state over the course of the last forty years. In the new millennium, a teacher counter-public has emerged to challenge this particular power formation, with ambivalent connections to historical unionism, creative uses of social media, and increasing attention to multiple modes of resistance. As these teachers and their allies develop a counterpublic around the articulation of resistance, they do risk defining the counter-public in terms of defiance rather than positive alternative vision. Political resources available to these teachers, however, include critical and futures-oriented pedagogical approaches that can help teacher activists design anticipatory, creative and democratic counter-public spaces.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science

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