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"Waiting for Superman": The Circuit of Cultural Production and Reception of Neoliberal Reform Discourse in Education
Scalfaro, Carmen

2015, Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, Educational Leadership.
In this study, I conduct a critical discourse analysis of the 2010 film Waiting For “Superman.” Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the film paints public education as a failing institution that is harmful to students casting blame on teachers and teacher unions while simultaneously casting private/charter schools and high-stakes testing as the only path to a “good” education. In this study, I ask the following questions: In what ways does the film construct a notion of common sense based on a neoliberal model? What initiatives, specifically constructed by teachers and other public school personnel, are currently taking place that resist neoliberal common sense? And, In what new ways can public schooling flourish under a new teacher-led common sense in the current political economy? The purpose of this study is to investigate how neoliberal ideology attempts to create common sense or “naturalize” notions of “good” public education. This study accomplishes this by analyzing the film Waiting For “Superman” as a deconstructable text. The critical discourse analysis in this study is based on Barthes’ (1972, 1974, 1977) approach to semiology. From this analysis, cogent themes regarding representations of neoliberal common sense are identified and interpreted.
Dennis Carlson (Committee Chair)
Thomas Poetter (Committee Member)
Denise Taliaferro-Baszile (Committee Member)
James Shiveley (Committee Member)

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Scalfaro, C. (2015). "Waiting for Superman": The Circuit of Cultural Production and Reception of Neoliberal Reform Discourse in Education . (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Scalfaro, Carmen. ""Waiting for Superman": The Circuit of Cultural Production and Reception of Neoliberal Reform Discourse in Education ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2015. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 23 Oct 2017.

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Scalfaro, Carmen ""Waiting for Superman": The Circuit of Cultural Production and Reception of Neoliberal Reform Discourse in Education ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2015. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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