No time on their hands

Children and the narrative architecture of school diaries

Colin Symes*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Diaries are elements of a school's documentary reality. They possess a complex ‘narrative architecture’ and serve multiple functions. In addition to playing an important role in inducting students into the adroit chronometry of contemporary work, the school diary is also a manual of self-government, given that much of it deals with goal setting, managing health and conflict resolution. On the grounds that it ameliorates communication between the school and parents, the diary, unlike its adult counterparts, is subject to regular inspection. As such, it is part of the machinery of surveillance and accountability that are features of neo-liberalist schooling.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)156-174
    Number of pages19
    JournalTime & Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • chronometry
    • diaries
    • neo-liberalism
    • school time
    • Toyotaism

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