Perpetrating Disaffection : Schooling As An International Problem

Clive Harber

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper argues that, despite evidence of widespread disaffection, school is often regarded as the default position for educational provision, a given good. If there is disaffection with, and resistance to, schooling, then it is pupils and parents that are the problem, not school itself. Yet there is considerable evidence that schooling does not necessarily or automatically benefit either society as a whole or the individuals who attend and that, as a result, it creates disaffection with itself. Rejection of schooling is therefore very far from being an irrational or ill-considered act. The paper reviews evidence supporting this argument including both the failure of schools to protect young people from danger and violence and also their direct role in actively perpetrating violence and threatening the safety of those they are there to protect. The paper ends by arguing that disaffection with schooling stems from its fundamental nature and purposes which have been shaped by its historical origins. While schooling remains as it is, disaffection and resistance will continue to be an inbuilt and often logical response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • violence
  • schooling
  • international
  • resistance
  • disaffection


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