Education for sale: A semiotic analysis of school prospectuses and other forms of educational marketing

Colin Symes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

IMPRESSION management strategies have become an important dimension of the educational endeavour. Their recent upsurge can be traced to the context of marketing and consumer choice that is now part of the prevailing orthodoxy of the modern school. In this paper, various types of 'impression management' (Schlenker, 1980) strategies are described, including those associated with school prospectuses and advertisements. These are the subjects of textual analysis, more specifically that of social semiotics which highlight the degree to which symbolic processes are influenced by context, and by the changing political economy. It is argued that the employment of a social semiotic framework to analyse educational promotional materials highlights the degree to which schooling, particularly private schooling, continues to be shaped by market forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-152
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Volume42
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Advantaged
  • Non-government schools
  • Publicity
  • Semiotics
  • Social status
  • Symbolism

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