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The Price of Performing Arts Education in England:
Power, Privilege and Social Justice in Drama School Training

PITT, LAUREN,CHRISTINA,ELIZABET (2023) The Price of Performing Arts Education in England:
Power, Privilege and Social Justice in Drama School Training.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis explores how structural social formations, contemporary education policy and the practices of drama schools interact to form barriers to educational opportunity in the arts and create problems for social mobility. Data collected from drama students in the North East of England, UK drama educators and UK trained actors are explored in conjunction with policy documents, literature on theatre and drama education. Using Bourdieu’s (1977) theory of cultural capital and habitus, this thesis unpicks the relationship between the systemic/structural conditions and specific local practices. In so doing, this thesis explores how ruling/middle class values are naturalised and universalised through the discourses of public institutions (such as drama schools) and how the naturalisation of these values creates barriers to social mobility and the inability to accommodate cultural differences in areas such as class, race, and disability. It challenges the conceptualisation of education in economic terms as a marketplace endeavour and site of preparation for work rather than as site for exploring human potential, analysing social possibility, or better fostering equal opportunities. It concludes by asking how perceived barriers to educational opportunity and social mobility might be overcome.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Social Mobility, Education, Drama School, Habitus, Cultural Capital
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2023 15:44

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