|Chapter 1:||Initial Thoughts|
What Is the Imprint?
The Imprint is a theorized independent social system announced through the social discourse that predominates a given age. In this project, it is exemplified as business norms, which are anticipated as the overarching social modality. It is articulated through visible forms of socialization into certain societal conventions (e.g., capitalism). Overall, advocates of the Imprint celebrate the concepts of shared values, beliefs, behaviors, heroes, and systems. In this particular age, the ideals of business norms that are broadly applauded are market competition, collaboration (teamwork), dialogue, integrity, profiteering, production, subordination, and trade-offs. Locating a combination of any of these concepts and ideals validates a social structure as having aspects of the Imprint.
Crucially, there can be other forms of the Imprint, with interchangeable concepts and ideals, but theoretically, the singular concept that is consistent in its modality—and which allows me to identify it—is control. It is effectual insofar as it commits itself to a tacit process of controlling things, such as knowledge. It can be engrained in one’s mode of thinking as an imprint of something that is ontologically external to oneself, affecting the way one perceives knowledge, understands things, and makes decisions. Some people may be aware of it and some may not. My theorization is that it ontologically exists and explains what is controlling the knowledge (re)production processes. Hence, using a realist perspective, my fieldwork builds theory based upon existing theories in an eclectic way to reveal how the Imprint is visibly active in schools.
As I proposed to look across the discourse of businesses to their intrusions into educational institutions, I compared two radically different urban high schools: a public charter school guided by a mission to prepare students for careers and social justice and a private Jesuit school with a mission for intellectual competence and Christianity.
Ultimately, I sought out facts about pedagogical practices while explaining social structures and the interrelatedness among them in education. Using the data I gathered, I will discuss how the contextual