Students navigating and negotiating the conveyor belt
Aspiration, loss, endurance and fantasy
in Factories for learning
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This chapter explores how students navigate Dreamfields' conveyor belt while learning how to imagine themselves and their future in particular ways. Whereas many working-class and ethnic-minority students often disinvest in education and 'know their limits' after repeated experiences of academic failure, Dreamfields presents a limitless landscape where investment is mandatory. Ambivalent feelings rest at the heart of Dreamfields' project as future fantasies promising happiness and enjoyment are allied to the present-day endurance of heightened control, discipline and securitisation. Several students discussed how they coped with Dreamfields' disciplinary structures by feigning compliance. As Bondi and Laurie discuss, neoliberalism actively works to deplete and constrain activism; Dreamfields' systems teach students the pointlessness of attempting to make their voices heard from the outset. Loss and gain becomes a raced and classed process, where students must move away from essentialised representations of blackness and working-classness to better fit into the Dreamfields landscape.

Factories for learning

Making race, class and inequalityin the neoliberal academy

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