Education movies and the promotion of one dimensional thinking: a marcusean examination of films made between 2005 and 2017

Prof Doc Thesis


Birrell, G. 2019. Education movies and the promotion of one dimensional thinking: a marcusean examination of films made between 2005 and 2017. Prof Doc Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Education
AuthorsBirrell, G.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Qualification nameEd.D Education
Abstract

This thesis examines how recent movies have depicted schools and teachers in the United Kingdom and the United States. Deploying methodological tools outlined by the Frankfurt School critical theorist Herbert Marcuse, it analyses the messages of twenty-first century film-making in the school genre, asking whether such films reinforce or challenge neoliberal perspectives of education.

To address this, ten films are assessed against Marcuse’s most significant and well-known philosophical concept - ‘one-dimensionality’ - modes of thinking in ‘advanced capitalist societies’ where critical spaces and alternative ways of seeing the world are closed down.

To analyse whether films contribute to a ‘one-dimensional’ perspective of education, key Marcusean constructs are utilised, concepts that Marcuse argued contributed to the death of critical thinking. The films are analysed through the main written method of the Frankfurt School – the dialectic.

Through the combined dialectical analysis of ten films, literature in the field and through exploration of critical theory and Marcuse, this thesis argues that movies play an important role in the consolidation of neoliberal perspectives of education, and that awareness and examination of the impact of popular culture should remain a significant feature of any critical society. In so doing, the thesis also aims to critically contribute towards a recent ‘renaissance’ in the consideration and application of Marcuse’s scholarly output.

KeywordsHerbert Marcuse; Frankfurt school; one-dimensionality; twenty-first century film-making; school genre
Year2019
File
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Restricted
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Nov 2019
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8915q/education-movies-and-the-promotion-of-one-dimensional-thinking-a-marcusean-examination-of-films-made-between-2005-and-2017

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