Organizational rhetoric in the prospectuses of elite private schools: unpacking strategies of persuasion

McDonald, Paula K., Pini, Barbara, & Mayes, Robyn (2012) Organizational rhetoric in the prospectuses of elite private schools: unpacking strategies of persuasion. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33(1), pp. 1-20.

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The way in which private schools use rhetoric in their communications offers important insights into how these organizational sites persuade audiences and leverage marketplace advantage in the context of contemporary educational platforms. Through systemic analysis of rhetorical strategies employed in 65 ‘elite’ school prospectuses in Australia, this paper contributes to understandings of the ways schools’ communications draw on broader cultural politics in order to shape meanings and interactions among organizational actors. We identify six strategies consistently used by schools to this end: identification, juxtapositioning, bolstering or self-promotion, partial reporting, self-expansion, and reframing or reversal. We argue that, in the context of marketization and privatization discourses in twenty-first-century western education, these strategies attempt to subvert potentially threatening discourses, in the process actively reproducing broader economic and social privilege and inequalities.

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13 citations in Scopus
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9 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 49194
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Rhetoric, Persuasion, Corporate Branding, Schools, Education, Prospectus
DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2012.632864
ISSN: 0142-5692
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2012 01:43
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 23:46

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