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The 'selected' and the 'ejected': The making of student subjectivity within four Australian selective schools

posted on 05.03.2020, 23:45 authored by MELISSA ROSE THAM
This research explores the processes of selection and selective schools through the perspectives of students who have been ‘selected’, as well as those who have been ‘ejected’ or have left selective schools prior to graduation. Underpinned by Foucault’s concepts of power and discourse, the operations of power, student subjectivities and the effects of selective schooling as it relates to elite and state schooling are analysed. The research highlights four discourses that shape selected students: opportunity, 'superiors', 'more than marks' and 'student wellbeing.' It argues that through an ambivalent and paradoxical experience of selective schooling, ‘ambivalent’ subjectivities are made; characterised by a sense of unease and uncertainty about oneself and one's future. Implications for research on selective schooling and student subjectivity are discussed.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Lucas Leslie Walsh

Additional supervisor 1

Steven Roberts

Additional supervisor 2

John Pardy

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Education