School administrators’ discursive positioning in talk about deviant high school students

Krishna Seunarinesingh

Abstract

This paper presents the analysis of two school administrators’ discourse whereby they relate their experiences with deviant high school students. Analysis of interview data revealed that interviewees positioned themselves as caring and inclusive educators, who understood deviant students’ circumstances. They positioned students as victims of overwhelmingly negative environments, and portrayed school as a warm and welcoming space. Through this positioning strategy, they accounted for decisions not to suspend deviant students from school. The findings suggest that the administrators equated performance of caring identity with professional competence, which is a desirable membership category in educational discourses.

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