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This book builds upon Stephen J Ball's previous work in the field of education policy analysis. It subjects the ongoing reforms in UK education to a rigorous critical interrogation. It takes as its main concerns the introduction of market forces, managerialism and the National Curriculum into the organization of schools and the work of teachers. Ball argues that these reforms are combining to fundamentally reconstruct the work of teaching, to generate and ramify multiple inequalities and to destroy civic virtue in education.The effects of the market and management are not technical and neutral but are essentially political and moral. The reforms taking place in the UK are both a form of cultural and social engineering and an attempt to recreate a fantasy education based upon myths of national identity, consensus and glory. The analysis is founded within policy sociology and employs both ethnographic and post-structuralist methods.
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"Readers interested in methodological and epistemological issues will find this of great interest...For educationalists who are critical of government intervention in education the book provides a powerful analysis of the political underpinning of recent so-called educational reform...A thought provoking book that I enjoyed reading." - Management in Education "The book goes a way towards developing a critical foundation from which to articulate alternative reform agendas...a fine book." - Qualitative Studies in Education