Over the past 10–15 years, state-funded schools have begun to require parents to assume an undefined and infinite personal responsibility. In this article, we investigate how schools organize responsibility games to respond to this challenge and how these games affect the concept of responsibility. We point to a dislocation in the way parents are assigned responsibility, because the definition of responsibility is not only a question of formulating rules or providing advice. We argue that what emerges is a kind of playful hyper responsibility that identifies responsibility as the participation in a process of public exploration by parents of the definition of their specific responsibilities. This has several consequences, one of which is that it becomes difficult to have a political discussion about what can reasonably be expected of parents.
Journal of Education Policy, 2014, Vol 29, Issue 1, p. 105-121