Speaking Back to the Neoliberal Discourse on Teaching: How U.S. Teachers use Social Media to Redefine Teaching

Jessica Shiller


Through mainstream mass media, neoliberal discourse has come to dominate all social policy realms in the United States. In education, the result has been a commodification of schools and teachers. Social media, however, has allowed individuals to speak back to neoliberal discourses by  providing a space to critique media and to present a counter-narrative to what media has presented. Through an analysis of teacher-authored blogs specifically, this paper uses virtual ethnographic and critical discourse methods to analyze how teachers have been able to challenge the dominant frames about the quality of their own profession, challenge the urge to reduce teaching to improved test scores, and to dismiss the privatization of teacher preparation. In so doing, use social media as a tool for resistance and are able to re-frame teacher quality to the public.


Social Media; Discourse; Social Justice; Teachers; Neoliberalism; Resistance; Media

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education