The shadow institutional framework: towards a new institutional understanding of an emerging private school sector in India

Srivastava, Prachi (2007) The shadow institutional framework: towards a new institutional understanding of an emerging private school sector in India. Research Papers in Education, 23 (4). pp. 451-475. ISSN 0267-1522

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Abstract

While the recent emergence of private schooling targeting socially and economically disadvantaged groups in India has been noted, the broader educational discourse in India conceptualises what have been termed here, 'low-fee private schools', as a loose collection of independent 'teaching shops'. Combining theoretical concepts from new institutional economics and the sociological variant of new institutionalism in organisational theory, empirical results from this study on low-fee private schooling in Lucknow District, Uttar Pradesh counter such assumptions. Far from being a fragmented set of schools, low-fee private schools employed the shadow institutional framework, a codified yet informal set of norms and procedures, to operate as part of a distinct private schooling sector. Despite the fact that low-fee private case study schools were independently owned, managed, and financed, they used the shadow framework to manipulate and mediate the formal policy and regulatory framework for their benefit and formed part of the de-facto low-fee private sector, a sub-sector of the greater private unaided sector. Even though the shadow framework was contrary to or usurped the official regulatory and policy framework, it operated with the knowledge and sometimes full participation of institutional actors who propelled it as a vehicle for legitimacy because of perverse incentives embedded in the formal framework. The paper presents the specific norms and procedures comprising the shadow framework, and outlines the potential implications of this new private schooling sector on the provision and delivery of schooling for disadvantaged groups

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Prachi Srivastava
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2013 15:15
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2013 15:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26981
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