Watson C (2011) Home–school partnership and the construction of deviance: being and becoming the Goldfish family. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 11 (1), pp. 20-29. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-3802.2010.01183.x
Partnership between home and school is a key aspect of current educational policy. At the level of policy of the notion of partnership is constructed unproblematically as smooth consensus, but this may not be the way it plays out in school where deeply rooted assumptions surrounding parenthood – and in particular motherhood – may pertain. This paper is concerned with home–school relations and the way in which schools construct deviance and attribute stigma. It is an analysis of a narrative written by a parent of a child diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It explores Jenny’s narrative concerning the events surrounding the diagnosis, in particular the part played by the school in this process, and the descent of a family from normality into madness. The paper begins with the attribution of deviance, the development of stigma and the birth of the Goldfish family. It then goes on to present three Hogarthian scenes documenting the family’s progress, and examines the peculiar convergence of social pressures which result in madness, before drawing some conclusions concerning the construction of deviance and the role of the school in this.
ADHD; parent; stigma; courtesy stigma; home-school partnership; narrative; Home and school; Educational equalization
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs: Volume 11, Issue 1