Validating minority cultures in public education

Rizvi and Lingard argue that neoliberal globalisation has a dual effect: reducing ‘some aspects of structurally imposed impediments to social equality’, but simultaneously reinforcing or even deepening social hierarchies (2010: 140).Given this duality, increased formal access to schooling may not translate into equitable outcomes.Instead of opening channels for social inclusion, such programmes may serve to ‘pedagogise poverty alleviation’ (Rambla and Veger, 2009: 473).Marginson (2008, 2011) presents a more differentiated view of higher education in the global frame.Abstract: This article discusses initiatives in Mexico to create alternative educational spaces.Following the 1994 Zapatista rebellion, subaltern social actors rejected mainstream education, seeing it as a failed means for imposing homogenisation, statism, and neoliberalism.

‘Autonomy’ is associated with restricted production and hierarchical cultural status, while ‘heteronomy’ is associated with a hierarchy driven by economic capital and market demand.

The autonomy of endogenous education is either non-market based, or only marketised in a restricted, community-defined sense.

This ‘deglobalised’ notion of autonomy from below is framed within horizontal, resistant, and alternative regional and global fields and imaginings.

Between the autonomous and heteronomous subfields lies a range of intermediate institutions ‘that combine the opposing principles of legitimacy in varying degrees and states of ambiguity’ (Marginson 2008: 305).

This article draws attention to the possibility of counter-hegemony, through the existence of an alternative, resistant mode of autonomy which relies on alternative legitimacy claims.

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