Performativity and identity: mechanisms of exclusion
Journal of Education Policy., 24, (3), . (doi:10.1080/02680930802669284).
Microsoft Word Performativity_and_identity_JEP_paper_DV.doc
- Author's Original
National policy discourses imply rational and positive pathways to greater equality and inclusion for public sector workers, including those in education. However, radical feminist and critical race theory suggests that whatever measures are undertaken to disassemble systems which impact negatively on those who are minority or excluded, systems which sustain current inequalities are likely to be synchronously constructed. Analysis of the UK performativity environment has variously identified a range of intended and unintended effects. The mechanisms by which performativity may impact on the inclusion or exclusion of diverse staff in leadership have not been widely explored empirically. This paper draws on data from five case studies of further education colleges. It interrogates the data to explore how the performativity culture relates to the multiple identities of leaders at various levels of hierarchy within the organisation. It concludes that while previous commentaries may have correctly discerned a relationship between managerialism and a centralisation of power to men and to senior leaders, they may have inadequately considered the complex impact of changes in public management culture on deeper power structures within organisations, including not only gender, but also socio-economic class, ethnicity and disability amongst others.
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