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    PFI and the performative politics of dissent: Lessons for democratic education

    McDonnell, J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7482-748X (2014) PFI and the performative politics of dissent: Lessons for democratic education. Power and Education, 6 (3). pp. 307-317. ISSN 1757-7438

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    Abstract

    This article reports on an instance of direct political action undertaken in the form of a boycott of a school canteen. The action was staged by students at the school, following redevelopment through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project. The young people's experiences of the boycott and its impact on their learning were analysed in the context of a larger, interpretative study exploring the relationships between democratic education and the arts. The research offers some important insights into the nature of young people's political engagement and suggests some important implications for democratic education. Specifically it indicates that – at least in the case of the participants in this study – young people are not politically disengaged but are rather differently engaged, and that such engagement can act as an important resource within a critical approach to democratic education.

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