Journal article

Agency as a Form of Discursive Practice A Classroom Scene Observed

B Davies

British Journal of Sociology of Education | Published : 1990


In this paper an analysis of the concept of agency is undertaken. The traditional or agonistic definition of agency which assumes that to be a person is to have agency is rejected in favour of a definition that shows the way in which agency may be discursively constructed as a positioning made available to some but not to others. This analysis is then applied to an episode in a primary school classroom to see whether the discursive practices in that classroom can be said to position the students as agentic. The particular classroom was chosen on the basis of the teacher's explicit wish that his students be agentic, but what the analysis shows is the extreme complexity involved in actually ca..

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