The Work of Desire: Elite Schools’ Multi-scalar Markets

  • Jane Kenway


Elite schools proudly proclaim their desirability. Internationalism has recently become integral to this. This chapter considers the work and workers involved, focusing first on how the schools try to enlist teachers to this desirable school project through the mobilization of affirming affects. It shows how teachers respond to such attempts. It also illustrates how marketization and internationalization have altered elite schools, as workplaces, drawing out the implications for those who work for, and with, them. It draws from a multi-sited global ethnography of seven elite schools around the world, but concentrates on one in India and another in Australia. It offers a distinctive way of theorizing this through Frédéric Lordon’s evocative ideas. Lordon brings together Marxist theories of wage labour and Spinoza’s anthropology of passions.


Elite schools Marketisation Internationalisation Desire Teachers’ work 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Kenway
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Melbourne UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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