In fateful moments: the appeal of parent testimonials when selling private tutoring

Briant, E., Doherty, C. , Dooley, K. and English, R. (2020) In fateful moments: the appeal of parent testimonials when selling private tutoring. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 28(2), pp. 223-239. (doi: 10.1080/14681366.2019.1629993)

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Australia’s private tutoring market is expanding in a context where parents’ trust in school personnel as educational experts is vulnerable. Simultaneously, a parentocratic logic is nudging parents to infuse the resources at their disposal into their pedagogic work in order to achieve the educational outcomes that they wish for their children. However, little is known about the specific strategies that private tutoring suppliers are using to attract prospective parents. This paper reports on a study of 160 parent testimonials published on the websites of 16 private tutoring suppliers in Australia. Drawing on Giddens’ concept of ‘fateful moments’ and Bauman’s work on the persuasion of the peer example, together with tools of critical discourse analysis, we argue that parent testimonials use emotional appeals to construct private tutoring as a resolution to parents’ fateful moments. In addition, we speculate that this emotional footing resonates with the pedagogic preferences of the dominant Australian middle classes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Australian Research Council [DP160100848].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Doherty, Professor Catherine
Authors: Briant, E., Doherty, C., Dooley, K., and English, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Pedagogy Policy and Practice
Journal Name:Pedagogy, Culture and Society
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1747-5104
Published Online:11 June 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Pedagogy, Culture and Society
First Published:First published in Pedagogy, Culture and Society 28(2): 223-239
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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