Inequality, poverty, education: A political economy of school exclusion
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Francesca Ashurst and Couze Venn Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2014, vii-195 pp., £58.00/$90.00, ISBN: 978-137-34700-8
This book provides a penetrating, moving and deeply sobering genealogical account of how some of the most vulnerable children in society have been categorised, treated and ultimately excluded from education in the United Kingdom. It focuses on poor children across the historical period from around 1800 to the present. The authors demonstrate through research drawing on historical documents, legal records, court transcripts and many other sources how poor children, classified variously as paupers, perishing, ragged, wild and feral, have acted as a symbolic dumping ground for unresolved political tensions. Each chapter picks up a specific political and historical moment and demonstrates the way the poor are excluded from society.
The first chapter provides a very helpful reminder of how political economy works in order to frame the argument about the plight of vulnerable...
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