Organizational rhetoric and the prospectuses of elite private schools

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McDonald, Paula
Pini, Barbara
Mayes, Robyn
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2012
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The way in which private schools use rhetoric in their communications offers important insights into how these organizational sites persuade audiences and leverage marketplace advantage in the context of contemporary educational platforms. Through systemic analysis of rhetorical strategies employed in 65 'elite' school prospectuses in Australia, this paper contributes to understandings of the ways schools' communications draw on broader cultural politics in order to shape meanings and interactions among organizational actors. We identify six strategies consistently used by schools to this end: identification, juxtapositioning, bolstering or self-promotion, partial reporting, self-expansion, and reframing or reversal. We argue that, in the context of marketization and privatization discourses in twenty-first-century western education, these strategies attempt to subvert potentially threatening discourses, in the process actively reproducing broader economic and social privilege and inequalities.

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British Journal of Sociology of Education

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33

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1

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© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in British Journal of Sociology of Education, Volume 33, Issue 1, 2012, pp. 1-20. The British Journal of Sociology of Education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.

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Sociology of Education

Specialist Studies in Education

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Sociology

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