Masks, masquerades and ironic performances

Getting our(selves) heard

Authored by: Gail Yuen

Routledge International Handbook of Schools and Schooling in Asia

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138908499
eBook ISBN: 9781315694382
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will draw on an example of grassroots activism to illustrate the alliance that was formed by early childhood practitioners, teacher educators and parents in order to secure a public provision of quality education for children aged 3–6 within the context of Hong Kong. Specifically, the chapter will illustrate the ways in which the activists had to negotiate particular discourses where a very particular performance was scripted by them. The chapter will go on to detail how this performance was influenced by poststructuralism and postcolonialism where the activists had to temporarily masquerade themselves so as to mimic the ‘rational male’. The chapter goes on to emphasize that whilst a particular performance had to be assumed so as to allow ‘safe’ passage through hegemonic discourses and structures, the activism in general was characterized by rhizomatic movements that allowed for fragmentation, splintering and sometimes even dissolution. The chapter concludes by suggesting that Deleuze’s concept of always becoming is a more meaningful way of capturing both the passion and pain that is an inherent part of the process of activism.

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