Department or Program

Political Science

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Laura Grattan

Additional Advisor(s)

Soo Hong

Additional Advisor

Roxanne Euben

Additional Advisor

Catia Confortini


In this thesis, I aim to answer the following questions: What is care, and do we see it in schools today? Can schools be sites of care in a time of neoliberalism? What theory of care would be most conducive to revitalizing schools as institutions of radical democratic citizenship? I turn to care because neoliberalism is fundamentally uncaring. Its presence in schools contributes to the attenuation of teachers’ and students’ ability to care. I discuss care as an ethic, practice, and a means of constituting new relationships in order to construct care as a versatile concept that might reinvigorate schools towards a democratic ethos and practice. I examine critical pedagogy and community organizing in schools as two potential examples of the power of care in order to argue that care can constitute schools as public and political places and students as democratic citizens.