Disaster Capitalism as Neoliberal Instrument for the Construction of Early Childhood Education/Care Policy: Charter Schools in Post-Katrina New Orleans


  • Michelle Salazar Perez University of North Texas
  • Gaile S. Cannella University of North Texas


This article is taken, with publisher permission, from the Rethinking Childhood Series book: Cannella, G. S. & Diaz Soto, L. (Eds.) (2010). Childhoods; A Handbook. NY: Peter Lang. This paper examines the impact of neoliberalism on early childhood education, care, and policy both as a global phenomenon and in the form of disaster capitalism in post-Katrina New Orleans. Neoliberalism is discussed in general terms and then analyzed through a critical, feminist, poststructural, and postcolonial lens in order to reveal the way in which early childhood policy and practices in the United States (such as with NCLB, school choice initiatives, and the charter school movement) have been used as mechanisms to control and privatize services like public education for young children, creating vast inequities and denying access to a free and appropriate education for many. The reader is referred to the complete book for additional critical, feminist, post-structural, reconceptualist analyses on social justice issues within early childhood studies.

Author Biographies

Michelle Salazar Perez, University of North Texas

Michelle S. Perez is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas. Her research uses marginalized feminist perspectives and critical qualitative methodologies to study public discourses and policies impacting young children and communities.

Gaile S. Cannella, University of North Texas

Gaile S. Cannella is a Professor and the Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair at the University of North Texas. Her scholarship, generally, involves the development of critical, post-structural, feminist, and postcolonial qualitative research methodologies. Specifically, this scholarship is used to construct critical childhood policy studies.




Articles (Peer Reviewed Research)