Eduardo Rivera Vicencio, Foucault: His influence over accounting and management research. Building of a map of Foucault’s approach, Int. J. of Critical Accounting, 2012 Vol.4, No.5/6, pp.728 – 756
Article also available in Spanish (full text)
The aim of this work is to build a map of Foucault’s approach. To achieve this objective, this work is focused on a broad revision and analysis of accounting and various publications. This work also includes a research on Foucault’s work so as to identify and compare the various manifestations of power relationships considered by different researchers. Once these manifestations of power as discourse, discipline, ethics, government, among others, have been identified, the specific influence of each one over accounting and management is determined as an attempt to provide a general view of this critical Foucauldian perspective over the study of organisations.
Foucault; power relationships; accounting research; management research; environment; power; knowledge-power; archaeological and genealogical methodology; discourse; discipline; ethics; governmentality.
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Michel Foucault, The Mesh of Power, Viewpoint Magazine, 2 (September 2012). Translated by Christopher Chitty
Full article online
We will attempt to proceed towards an analysis of the concept of power. I am not the first, far from it, to attempt to skirt around the Freudian schema that pits instinct against suppression [répression], instinct against culture. Many decades ago, an entire school of psychoanalysts tried to modify and develop this Freudian schema of instinct versus culture, and of instinct versus suppression – I am referring to psychoanalysts in the English as well as the French language, like Melanie Klein, Winnicott, and Lacan, who have tried to show that suppression, far from being a secondary, ulterior, or later mechanism, which would attempt to control a given or natural play of instinct, constitutes a part of the mechanism of instinct, or, more or less, of the process through which the sexual instinct [l’instinct sexuel] is developed, unfolded and constituted as drive [pulsion].
Christopher Chitty, Towards a Socialist Art of Government: Michel Foucault’s “The Mesh of Power”, Viewpoint Magazine, 2 (September 2012)
How surprising the events of May 1968 must have seemed to Michel Foucault is suggested by a remark made to his life-long partner Daniel Defert in January of that year, following his nomination for a faculty position at the University of Paris Nanterre. “Strange how these students speak of their relations with profs in terms of class war.” Interpretations of this remark will reveal a lot about one’s received image of the late philosopher. Among figures of the New Left he had earned a reputation as an anti-Marxist for disparaging public comments about Jean-Paul Sartre, and the apparent heresies of Les mots et les choses (1966). A younger generation of left-leaning intellectuals, activists, and agitators, exposed only to later portraits of the radical philosopher – the author of Discipline and Punish (1974), megaphone in hand, rubbing shoulders with Sartre and other ultra-gauchistes at protests in the streets of Paris – will probably find the confession disconcerting. Is it possible that he was taken off guard by the political sparks that would set alight le mouvement du 22 mars? He did, after all, arrive in Paris post festum, participating in some of the final rallies at the Sorbonne in late June.
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Allen, A. (2012) Using Foucault in education research, British Educational Research Association on-line resource.
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Michel Foucault is frequently cited in educational research. Care should, nevertheless, be taken when reading work that makes use of Foucault as interpretations of Foucault’s ideas vary almost as widely as the uses to which they are put. This resource, designed for those new to Foucault, introduces some of Foucault’s key concepts and explores the challenges faced when implementing Foucault’s theoretical framework.
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Foucault, Magritte and negative theology beyond representation
(2013) Studia Theologica – Nordic Journal of Theology. Published online: 20 Feb 2013
Recent theological writings on the French philosopher Michel Foucault often mention Foucault in relation to negative theology. This article discusses the negative motion in Foucauldian thinking through Foucault’s essay on the Belgian painter René Magritte. On the basis of this discussion, the article sketches a renewed account of negative theology. It is a post-representational account of negative theology in accordance with Foucault’s critique of representation, as presented in his Magritte essay.
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Mark Kelly, Michel Foucault’s Political Thought, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013
The work of twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault has increasingly influenced the study of politics. This influence has mainly been via concepts he developed in particular historical studies that have been taken up as analytical tools; “governmentality” and ”biopower” are the most prominent of these. More broadly, Foucault developed a radical new conception of social power as forming strategies embodying intentions of their own, above those of individuals engaged in them; individuals for Foucault are as much products of as participants in games of power.
The question of Foucault’s overall political stance remains hotly contested. Scholars disagree both on the level of consistency of his position over his career, and the particular position he could be said to have taken at any particular time. This dispute is common both to scholars critical of Foucault and to those who are sympathetic to his thought.
What can be generally agreed about Foucault is that he had a radically new approach to political questions, and that novel accounts of power and subjectivity were at its heart. Critics dispute not so much the novelty of his views as their coherence. Some critics see Foucault as effectively belonging to the political right because of his rejection of traditional left-liberal conceptions of freedom and justice. Some of his defenders, by contrast, argue for compatibility between Foucault and liberalism. Other defenders see him either as a left-wing revolutionary thinker, or as going beyond traditional political categories.
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Donald Gillies, Educational Leadership and Michel Foucault, Routledge, 2013
Drawing from the ideas of Michel Foucault, this book offers a critical examination of today’s dominant discourse of educational leadership. Foucault’s understanding of critique is as a ‘permanent’ ethos in which humans explore the nature of their existence but at the same time query the limits imposed upon them, and probe opportunities for increasing freedom. This book outlines the key concepts in the work of Foucault, and demonstrates how his concepts of discourse, power/knowledge, and governmentality offer an understanding of how ideas of educational leadership and management have emerged, how they serve to establish a discipline, and how they construct individuals – pupils, teachers, and head teachers – in particular ideological ways.
The discourse of educational leadership and management not only represents a specific means of ‘governing’ education but also calls for the development of approved management and leadership skills and behaviours. The related focus on cultivating, valuing, and rewarding effective leaders is eminently suited to Foucauldian critique, which not only questions the basis for its assumptions and norms, but also examines the way in which the subjects of ELMA – today’s educational professionals – are both constructed by the discourse and are called upon to shape themselves accordingly.
Included in the book:
- educational leadership as discourse
- educational leadership as discipline
- power and educational leadership
- governmentality and educational leadership.
By both applying theory and examining empirical exemplars, this volume offers a challenge to dominant leadership discourse and suggests alternative understandings of the field and approaches to practice. The book will be of value to researchers and postgraduate students with an interest in educational leadership, management and administration, as well as to practitioners in the school system.
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