Negotiating Legitimacy: Rituals and Reflection in School by Robert Hamm

Russell Dudley-Smith


There are good reasons for studying ritual-like events in school settings. Both disciplinary (subject-knowledge) and non-disciplinary teaching (norms of behaviour) may seek to produce new kinds of identity and patterns of self-evident truth other than those established in the family. Schools like to emphasise their universalistic character—the responsibility of transmitting non-disciplinary moral standards and sanctified disciplinary subject knowledges. This creates a problem: how to get pupils to become subjects of these cultural arbitraries?

The arbitrary nature of the imposition is of course denied. Yet any historical study of...


ritual, Foucault, strategy

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