Making Modern Lives

Subjectivity, Schooling, and Social Change

By Julie McLeod & Lyn Yates

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Power, Social Identity, and Education
Paperback : 9780791467688, 288 pages, May 2006
Hardcover : 9780791467671, 288 pages, May 2006

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Table of contents

1. Modern Lives, Subjectivity, Schooling, and Social Change
2. Researching Subjectivity and Schooling—On Method and What It Means to Work with Theory
3. What Is a Good Student?
4. Becoming Someone as Project and as Process
5. Dreams and Pathways: Identity-Making and Vocational Choices
6. Who Is “Us”?: Australian Students on Politics, Racism, Ethnicity, and Unemployment
7. Class in the New World and the New Economy
8. Gender Themes in a Changing World
9. Schooling, Schooling Politics, and Making Modern Lives
Appendix 1. Participant Snapshots
Appendix 2a. Summary of Pathways
Appendix 2b. Who Got What—School Contrasts
Appendix 2c. Future Daydreams and Plans

Examines the effects of schooling on young people’s values, choices, and identities.


Making Modern Lives looks at how young people shape their lives as they move through their secondary school years and into the world beyond. It explores how they develop dispositions, attitudes, identities, and orientations in modern society. Based on an eight-year study consisting of more than 350 in-depth interviews with young Australians from diverse backgrounds, the book reveals the effects of schooling and of local school cultures on young people's choices, future plans, political values, friendships, and attitudes toward school, work, and sense of self. Making Modern Lives uncovers who young people are today, what type of identities and inequalities are being formed and reformed, and what processes and politics are at work in relation to gender, class, race, and the framing of vocational futures.

Julie McLeod is Senior Lecturer in Education at Deakin University, Australia. Lyn Yates is Foundation Professor of Curriculum at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the author of The Education of Girls: Policy, Research, and the Question of Gender.