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An ethnographic study of relays, connective strategies and regulated participation
Andrew Wilkins

England has long been a ‘laboratory’ for experimenting with structured incentives to compel, among other configurations, the organisation of schools as businesses. The focus of this chapter concerns a recent market-based experiment in education in England called the academies programme. The academies programme makes it possible for schools to operate outside their Local Education Authorities (LEAs) as private enterprises or ‘state-funded independent schools’ with significant responsibility for management and accountability delegated to school leaders and governors. From this perspective, the academies programme is a continuation of the idea of ‘co-steering’ or ‘co-governance’ inasmuch as academy status removes the requirement for the administration of ‘needs’ through the bureaucratic centralism of LEAs and instead empowers schools to consensually work with stakeholders to produce flexible, responsive models of service delivery. Yet, as this chapter shows, school autonomy among academies is conditional on the attraction of suitably skilled school leaders and governors who can effectively deploy prescriptions and solutions for ‘effective governance’, which includes conditioning certain people to stay out of governance. In some cases, academy structures resemble the same techno-bureaucratic settlements they were meant to replace and improve, namely LEAs, albeit lacking the mandate or incentives to provide strong democratic accountability based on principles of citizen participation and community voice (Wilkins, 2016, 2019a). The suggestion here is that the academies programme has become a target of political control from the centre and business saturation despite claims that academy status works to depoliticise and deregulate schools.

in Inside the English education lab
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Pure cinema and Dada/Surrealist films
Maryann De Julio

This chapter discusses Germaine Dulac’s ties to Dada/Surrealist cinema, especially as they relate to her controversial collaboration with Antonin Artaud on La Coquille et le clergyman (1927), and her own experimental films. I use Dulac’s statements regarding the production of La Coquille et le clergyman, along with her theoretical writings on cinema, to discuss the aesthetics and the structure of the film. I refer to Alain and Odette Virmaux’s Artaud/Dulac: La Coquille et le Clergyman. Essai d’élucidation d’une querelle mythique (Paris Expérimental, 1999) to present the history of the film’s reception. As a director and theoretician of experimental film, Dulac proclaimed her goal to make ‘pure’ cinema, which she spoke of as ‘musically constructed’ films or ‘films made according to the rules of visual music’. I examine L’Invitation au voyage (1927), Disque 957 (1929), Thème et variations (1929), and Etude cinématographique sur une arabesque (1929) as further examples of Dulac’s ‘pure’ cinema or ‘musically constructed’ films.

in Germaine Dulac
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Hester Barron

The role of elementary schools in ‘character training’ has been well documented for the period before the First World War but has received less attention for the years after 1918. This chapter shows that an education that included ‘character-training’ – incorporating the ways that children behaved, looked and spoke – remained integral to the interwar classroom. It explores the emphasis that schools placed on virtues such as charitable giving, thrift, the prefect system and table manners; their focus on cleanliness and anxiety over (particularly female) sexuality; and the ‘speech training’ that preoccupied educationalists and inspectors. Above all, lessons on morality were fixed within a Christian framework. Religious education was not compulsory in English state schools until 1944 but religious belief remained significant to almost every child’s experience of school. The chapter also examines the role of discipline and corporal punishment for those children who transgressed. In their assumptions about character and morality, schools were once again explicitly setting themselves in opposition to the home environment. In fact, the chapter argues, the premium placed on cleanliness by traditions of working-class respectability makes it unlikely that many parents were as unconcerned as such reports suggest. Parents might not have used the phrase ‘character training’ or thought in terms of citizenship, but they could be just as engaged as schools – perhaps even more so – in expecting certain standards of behaviour from their children.

in The social world of the school
Monarchy, military, colonialism, fascism and decolonization
Diana M. Natermann

Diana M. Natermann unpacks the life and career of the German Duke Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s. The duke was a pro-imperialistic military man, Africa traveller and governor of Togo; German representative to South America in the 1930s and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the decades after the Second World War. By connecting the peculiarities of his professional and personal practices with an analysis of what are traditionally conceived of as watershed moments in German history, the chapter highlights two glacial, global shifts: first, the slow economic and social transformation of the role of the nobility from the mid-nineteenth century; second, the transformation of imperial knowledge as a currency that came to serve new purposes, as Germany lost its colonial empire, turned to Nazism and eventually emerged divided in the Cold War era. The global transformation of the duke’s nobility and his imperial credentials allowed him to stay ‘afloat’ during these many ruptures in German history.

in Global biographies
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Maryann De Julio

The conclusion compares Germaine Dulac’s career and contributions to cinema with those of Alice Guy Blaché, another early woman film pioneer, in order to highlight their differing paths to recognition, and to bring out the specificity of Dulac’s work. Particular attention is paid to the themes and motifs in their work, especially their representation of women, to the fact that each had their own film production company, and to their promotion of cinema and mentoring of future filmmakers.

in Germaine Dulac
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in The social world of the school
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Edward J. Woell

The chapter is started by two introductory quotes: one by Alexis de Tocqueville; and the other by an African-American Democratic politician named Barbara Jordan. From there the conclusion underscores three key takeaways from the book. First, a short review of all six chapters provides a unified portrait of small-town religious politics and shows how this depiction counters current scholarly understanding of the subject. Second, the book’s findings are then placed in the greater expanse of the longue durée, thereby showing that the Revolution’s religious politics in small towns had implications for all of France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. And third, a series of broader historical questions are raised regarding social capital and its ties to the common good. In effect, the questions ask whether there may be other historical instances of confiscating the common good comparable to those seen in the French Revolution. While no answers are purposely proffered, the questions are meant to initiate a conversation about the enduring role of local social capital and the common good in democratic society, and what happens when these wither, are taken away—or worse yet—are historically ignored.

in Confiscating the common good
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Radio Londra between myth and reality
Ester Lo Biundo

The conclusion of this book is divided into three sections, focusing on the three main outcomes of this work. The first explains how the myth of the BBC in Italy was created. The second claims that the BBC’s ability to engage with ordinary people led to its success in Italy. The third states that BBC transnational programmes during the Second World War contributed to both the creation of a European identity and audience.

in London calling Italy
Coercion, contestation and localised struggles
Christy Kulz, Kirsty Morrin, and Ruth McGinity

This concluding chapter charts how the goal of total system academisation remains the Conservative government’s goal in the face of scant party-political opposition; however, grassroots opposition to these social and cultural interventions continues. The chapter explores how the privatisation of education structures and the narrowing of democratic participation ties to authoritarianism by reflecting on ethnographic exchanges at the Academies Show. It continues by examining the relationship between academisation and the increasing institution of detailed, rigid uniforms and punitive behaviour policies including isolation booth and practices of off-rolling and exclusion. The chapter concludes by analysing the connection between nationalism, racialisation and authoritarian educational forms through recent and well-publicised staff and student protests at Pimlico Academy in London that critically interrogate the norms promoted through these structures.

in Inside the English education lab
Small towns and religious politics in the French Revolution
Author: Edward J. Woell

Based on five microhistories about the French Revolution’s religious politics within small towns, this book shows how the social fabric of small urban communities was frayed by this politics to such an extent that it unravelled their democratic character. It suggest two ways by which this occurred: first, by polarizing small towns and thus precluding democratic deliberation within them; and second, by closing enduring religious institutions that had yielded a social capital intrinsic to the local common good. In historiographical terms, the religious politics of these five towns collectively proposes that contrary to the view now held by most scholars, the Ecclesiastical Oath of 1791 was not the sole critical issue for their citizens; other developments often mattered even more. In Pont-à-Mousson, for example, the elimination of Catholic religious orders was of utmost concern to citizens due to their institutional role. The people of Gournay-en-Bray were shaken by the closure of one its parishes and the polarities it produced. Vienne’s citizens grew divided by the suppression of not only an archbishopric and two chapters but also all six of its parishes. Haguenau’s religious politics involved a broader fight over local power as well as the granting of new rights to area Protestants and Jews. Despite taking the 1791 Oath, the curé of Is-sur-Tille was forced to fend off attacks on religious expression that persisted up to 1801. The book therefore suggests a more nuanced narrative of the Revolution’s religious politics than the one now in place.