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    Diversity without difference: modelling 'the real' in the social aesthetic of a London multicultural school

    Wells, Karen (2007) Diversity without difference: modelling 'the real' in the social aesthetic of a London multicultural school. Visual Studies 22 (3), pp. 270-282. ISSN 1472-586X.

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    Abstract

    This article analyses the social aesthetic of the visual displays of a multicultural London primary school. It shows that the social aesthetic of the school models the school as a site of the ‘real’ in Baudrillard's sense of a ‘real’ that is a simulacra of the real, one from which the violence that is produced within and is constitutive of capitalism is expelled. In this view ‘race’ is not a division of humanity caused by racism, it is simply a cultural sign marking diversity. Difference, in the sense of racialised inequalities or racism, can be expelled from the system without ‘race’ itself being expelled. By the same logic, nationalism, as an exclusionary ideology, is separated out from national identity, which becomes simply one of a range of cultural resources that children can draw on in assembling the self.

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