Rejected spaces, uncertain futures: a study on the influence of neoliberalism on rural education and rural students’ paths.

Authors: Juan Oyarzun*, CJE UC
Topics: Latin America, Social Theory, Development
Keywords: Education policies, rural space, neoliberalism, subjectivities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Zulu, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My proposal seeks to encompass the influence of neoliberalism in education policy’ enactment and students’ subjective histories in rural spaces in Chile. The paper is divided on two main analysis: the first one on the impact of neoliberalism in rural schools in three rural zones of Chile, one in the north, another in the centre and a final in the south of its territory. This particular impact is related with the demands of a rural economy based in the commodification of natural resources, through industries as mining, aquaculture and viticulture, towards the vocational-technical education alternatives that schools offer to students and their families. Schools have to adapt and modify their educational programmes in response to the specific needs of big companies, which under a neoliberal development model restructure the rural space of the economy (Massey, 2004). The second analysis is related with the subjectivities of students in their final year of secondary school, which under this educational framework, have to respond to the alternatives demanded by the economy of the places where they live, neoliberal economy which had determined their lives and threatens to restrict their options to a limited horizon of future. From this perspective, this study inquires into the temporal and spatial perspectives of the students’ de-subjectivation processes (Binkley, 2011), through narratives which struggle between the precariousness of their rural pasts and presents, and the uncertainty of their future, where the urban is projected as a space of opportunities and wellbeing.

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