Two nations underground: building schools to survive nuclear war and desegregation in the 1960s

Article


Preston, J. 2015. Two nations underground: building schools to survive nuclear war and desegregation in the 1960s. Race Ethnicity and Education.
AuthorsPreston, J.
Abstract

In the 1960s federal agencies in the United States encouraged the building of protected
schools designed to survive a nuclear attack. A number of designs, including underground
schools, were constructed. In order to promote the building of protected schools, the US
government produced a number of propaganda films for school boards and governors. In
addition to promoting post-nuclear survival, these films considered that protected schools
were beneficial in terms of progressive and child-centred education and sometimes racial
assimilation. This paper considers the extent to which securitisation and progressive
education found a common purpose at this time and considers the implications of this for
race equality.
The data is based upon rare, archival film from the US National Archives in College Park,
Maryland on school protection during the Cold War. These films, intended for wider public
consumption were intended as promotional shorts for schools boards and other decision
makers to show the advantages of adding fallout protection to school design. The method
involved an archival search to scope the range of films produced at this time. Each film was
viewed multiple times at the archive to transcribe text and image descriptions. This dual data
was then used to form a narrative account of the argument structure of the films to identify
the ways in which interest convergences and divergences around ‘race’ are deployed. The
discussion uses conceptions of ‘flexible whiteness’ to examine how securitisation, a discourse
identified with white hegemony, can additionally contain conceptions of race equality and
progressivism.

JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
ISSN1470-109X
1361-3324
Year2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/13613324.2015.1095174
Publication dates
Print04 Nov 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Nov 2015
Accepted09 Aug 2015
FunderEconomic and Social Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Race, Ethnicity and Education on 04.11.15, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13613324.2015.1095174
Page range1-12
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