Choice and the Structure of Citizenship
This chapter draws on ethnographic research; federal, state, and municipal policy mandates; and feminist and critical race theory to provide a genealogy of choice, as a key principle of reform and management in education that emerged in the post-Brown v. Board of Education context. This genealogy helps us track the realignment that took place in the post–civil rights social structure and illuminates how the continued production of a tiered citizenship, organized through race and embedded within the realm of the public, was assured when universal rights were organized as individual private choices. As such, this chapter provides a more capacious understanding of neoliberal restructuring in the United States. I examine how the contradiction of exclusion despite juridical inclusion is animated in the present day, and also query the possibilities for transformative, nonreformist reforms that might be forged by those political subjects who inhabit the cracks of such contradictory universalism.
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