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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Neoliberalism and its educational reforms are premised on the importance of individual participation in market practices in order to further one’s own well-being. Such pursuits are supported by a negative justice conception of social welfare. These practices, which stress equality over equity, have distinct implications for how systems of education and citizens are discursively constructed and positioned in society. This affects how music education is structured and perceived within the practices of neoliberal education. This chapter explores the tensions between a neoliberal education ideology based on negative rights and social justice education underpinned by positive rights, the latter of which can lead to greater democratic participation, empathy, and equity in schools. Music education can play a role in subverting or providing an alternative approach to neoliberal education systems that focus primarily on developing self-interested, economic individuals who may be limited in the ways in which they view democratic participation.

Keywords: neoliberalism, education, negative rights, positive rights, democratic participation, empathy, equity

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