Choosing schools: explorations in post-primary school choice in an urban Irish working class community

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Cahill, Kevin
Hall, Kathy
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Taylor & Francis, Routledge
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This paper examines post-primary school choice processes in the urban Irish working-class community of Portown. Here, there is an awareness of hegemonic neoliberal ideals and how school choice becomes a significantly classed space characterised by market ideologies and structural inequality. This critical ethnography explored the world through participant observation, semi-structured interviews over a 3-year period. The data examined here are drawn specifically from investigations into school choice processes. It deploys identity theories as thinking tools to examine the classed nature of engagement with school choice markets. The findings delineate three distinct groups of choosers in this school community: passive transitioners, active choosers and second-schoolers. The findings of the study reveal the entwined and co-constructed nature of identity and social class as well as examining the role played by school choices and differential access to economic, cultural and social resources in these processes.
School choice , Social class , Neoliberalism and Irish education , Educational inequality
Cahill, K. and Hall, K. (2014) 'Choosing schools: explorations in post-primary school choice in an urban Irish working class community', Irish Educational Studies, 33(4), pp. 383-397. 10.1080/03323315.2014.978657
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© 2014 Educational Studies Association of Ireland. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Irish Educational Studies on 21/11/2014, available online: