Landscapes of Naming and Placing: Structures and Practices of Selection and Sorting in France

Part of the Inclusive Education: Cross Cultural Perspectives book series (INED, volume 1)


In this chapter I have discussed the structural, procedural and professional relationships and processes which contribute to a system which is based on a notion of ‘the normal’. Children and young people who do not conform to the particular version of ‘normality’ which underpins the education system are the focus of professional and bureaucratic attention which works to remove them to other sites on the edges ef, or outside, the education system. Alternative sites, often financed by the Ministry for Social Security and managed by Associations whose raison d’être is, in most cases, special provision on the basis of impairment, provide arenas which are both physically and symbolically landscapes of exclusion. The role of professionals as brokers in identifying and removing young people on the grounds that they are ‘incapable’ or ‘fragile’ has been discussed and questions raised about the implications of such removals for their rights to education.

I have tried to tease out some of the relationships which exist between a number of levels in the social systems surrounding education and difference. By focusing on a small number of situations, I have tried to make some links between wider issues concerning exclusion and its consequences in relation to education in France. I have included some discussion of discourses which are implicated in identifying and distancing disturbing others, and I have linked these to structural and procedural features and processes which separate and exclude individuals and groups of young people from education. ‘Professionals’ play a pivotal role in processes of spatialization. In the final chapter I shall try to draw together some ideas and questions which have emerged in the study in relation to my original research questions concerning theories of space, place and identity and the role of history.


Young People Education System Special Education Educational Psychologist Disable Child 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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