Archive for the ‘Journal articles’ Category

Lewis, S., Hardy, I.
Funding, reputation and targets: the discursive logics of high-stakes testing
(2014) Cambridge Journal of Education. Article in Press.

This paper provides insights into teacher and school-based administrators’ responses to policy demands for improved outcomes on high-stakes, standardised literacy and numeracy tests in Australia. Specifically, the research reveals the effects of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN), and associated policies, in the state of Queensland. Drawing suggestively across Michel Foucault’s notions of disciplinary power and subjectivity, and Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of social fields, the research utilises interviews with teachers and school-based administrators to reveal how high-stakes, standardised testing practices served to discursively constitute performative teacher subjectivities around issues of funding, teacher and school reputation and target-setting within what is described as the ‘field of schooling practices’. The paper argues that the contestation evident within this field is also reflective and constitutive of more educative schooling discourses and practices, even as performative logics dominate.

Author Keywords
Bourdieu; disciplinarity; fields; Foucault; high-stakes testing; subjectivity

DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2014.936826

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Taylor, W.G., Piper, H., Garratt, D.
Sports coaches as ‘dangerous individuals’-practice as governmentality
(2014) Sport, Education and Society. Article in Press.

Recent concern surrounding sports coaches’ interaction with young people has reflected a fundamental change in the way coaches and others regard the role of sports. In this paper, we consider the identification and definition of the contemporary sports coach (whether acting in a professional or volunteer capacity) as, in Foucault’s term, a ‘dangerous individual’. We suggest that the mainstream discourse of child protection and safeguarding, variously interpreted and applied, has contributed to a culture of fear in sports coaching practice. Drawing on data from a recently completed Economic and Social Research Council-funded research project, we argue that contradictions in policy and practice, which serve to privilege a particular discourse, have cast the coach as both predator and protector of young sports performers. This has undermined the role of the coach, led to intergenerational fear, created doubt about coaches’ intentions and promoted their adoption of defensive and protective practices. Utilising the concept of governmentality, we argue that, as a consequence, fundamental trust-based relationships, necessary in healthy athlete – coach engagement, have been displaced by a discourse embodied in sterile delivery and procedure governed by regulation and suspicion.

Author Keywords
Defensive coaching practices; Deprofessionalisation; Fear of the coach; Foucault; Governmentality

DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2014.899492

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Hutchinson, M., Jackson, D.
The construction and legitimation of workplace bullying in the public sector: Insight into power dynamics and organisational failures in health and social care
(2014) Nursing Inquiry. Article in Press.

Health-care and public sector institutions are high-risk settings for workplace bullying. Despite growing acknowledgement of the scale and consequence of this pervasive problem, there has been little critical examination of the institutional power dynamics that enable bullying. In the aftermath of large-scale failures in care standards in public sector healthcare institutions, which were characterised by managerial bullying, attention to the nexus between bullying, power and institutional failures is warranted. In this study, employing Foucault’s framework of power, we illuminate bullying as a feature of structures of power and knowledge in public sector institutions. Our analysis draws upon the experiences of a large sample (n = 3345) of workers in Australian public sector agencies – the type with which most nurses in the public setting will be familiar. In foregrounding these power dynamics, we provide further insight into how cultures that are antithetical to institutional missions can arise and seek to broaden the debate on the dynamics of care failures within public sector institutions. Understanding the practices of power in public sector institutions, particularly in the context of ongoing reform, has important implications for nursing.

Author Keywords
Care failures; Horizontal violence; Nursing workforce; Power; Public sector; Uncaring; Workplace bullying

DOI: 10.1111/nin.12077

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Chaput, C., Hanan, J.S.
Economic Rhetoric as Taxis: Neoliberal governmentality and the dispositif of freakonomics
(2014) Journal of Cultural Economy. Article in Press.

This essay expands the rhetoric of economics conversation started by economist Deirdre McCloskey. Through a close engagement with Michel Foucault’s lectures at the Collège de France from 1975 to 1979, concerning the dual problematics of liberalism and biopolitics, we argue for theorizing economic rhetoric as a governmental problem of order, or taxis, which arranges value among divergent subjects beyond the dichotomies of material/cultural and global/local. This approach toward rhetoric, we further contend, takes as its strategic form what Foucault and Agamben have called a dispositif. We demonstrate this premise through a case study of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s notion of freakonomics, suggesting that it can be understood as a rhetorical dispositif working within the broader political rationality of neoliberal governmentality. We end by gesturing toward a rhetoric of the common as an alternative to the dispositif of freakonomics.

Author Keywords
agency; biopolitics; freakonomics; neoliberalism; rhetoric of economics

DOI: 10.1080/17530350.2014.942349

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The cover image was produced by Astra Howard, an Action Researcher/Performer currently living in Sydney Australia. Spanning more than a decade, her work has sought to elicit and document marginalised, or overlooked, experiences and discourses of the city. The specific image I have chosen is part of a series entitled ‘Kings Cross the Whisper.’ This series displays selections from a poem about the Kings Cross area that was written by a local socially marginalised man. The images alludes to forgotten histories and marginalization in an increasingly homogenised and gentrified part of Sydney.

Foucault Studies
Number 18: October 2014
Special Issue on Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities

Table of Contents

Editorial PDF
Sverre Raffnsøe, Alain Beaulieu, Sam Binkley, Barbara Cruikshank, Knut Ove Eliassen, Marius Gudmand-Høyer, Johanna Oksala, Sven Opitz, Jyoti Puri, Jens Erik Kristensen, Alan Rosenberg, Mathias Adam Munch 1-4

Special Issue on Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities

Introduction PDF
Michelle Brady 5-10
Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities: from the neoliberal apparatus to neoliberalism and governmental assemblages PDF
Michelle Brady 11-33
Fixing Non-market Subjects: Governing Land and Population in the Global South PDF
Tania Murray Li 34-48
Neo‐Liberalism, Police, and the Governance of Little Urban Things PDF
Randy K. Lippert 49-65
The Grassroots and the Gift: Moral Authority, American Philanthropy, and Activism in Education PDF
Katharyne Mitchell, Chris Lizotte 66-89
Resisting the lure of the paycheck: Freedom and dependence in financial self-help PDF
Daniel Fridman 90-112


The politics of health in the eighteenth century PDF
Michel Foucault 113-127
Bio‐history and bio‐politics PDF
Michel Foucault 128-130


Disciplining the Ethical Couponer: A Foucauldian Analysis of Online Interactions PDF
Stephanie Gonzalez Guittar, Shannon K. Carter 131-153
Michel Foucault and Michael Oakeshott: The Virtuosity of Individuality PDF
Jacob Segal 154-172
Law, Objectives of Government, and Regimes of Truth PDF
Leila Brännström 173-194

Section in collaboration with Foucault Circle

Introduction to section from the 12th Annual Foucault Circle Conference PDF
Devonya N. Havis, Richard A. Lynch 195-196
Spotting the Primacy of Resistance in the Virtual Encounter of Foucault and Deleuze PDF
Marco Checchi 197-212
Platonism, Christianity, Stoicism: The Subject, The Truth, And The Political Import Of Their Relationship In Three Traditions PDF
Robin Weiss 213-237

Review Essay section

The Normative and the Transcendental: Comments on Colin Koopman’s Genealogy as Critique PDF
Amy Allen 238-244
On Left Kantianism: From Transcendental Critique to the Critical Ontology of the Present PDF
Eduardo Mendieta 245-252
Genealogy, Cryptonormativity, Interpretation PDF
Kevin Olson 253-260
Genealogy, Methodology, & Normativity beyond Transcendentality: Replies to Amy Allen, Eduardo Mendieta, & Kevin Olson PDF
Colin Koopman 261-273

Review Essay

Outside In, Inside Out, Again and Yet Again: Foucault’s Game in Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling PDF
Daniel T. O’Hara 274-278


Double review: Artières & Bert, Un succès philosophique: L’Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique de Michel Foucault ; Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique de Michel Foucault. Regards critiques 1961-2011, Textes choisis et présentés par Artières et al. PDF
Elisabetta Basso 279-286
Tom Roach, Friendship as a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement (New York: SUNY Press, 2012) PDF
Matthew Halse 287-290
David Galston, Archives and the Event of God: The Impact of Michel Foucault on Philo-sophical Theology (Montreal McGill-Queens’ University Press, 2011) PDF
Ebru Thwaites 291-292
Lauri Siisiainen, Foucault and the Politics of Hearing (New York: Routledge, 2012) PDF
Perry Zurn 293-296
Lee Braver, Groundless Grounds: A Study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012) PDF
Apple Zefelius Igrek 297-300
Thomas Nail, Returning to Revolution: Deleuze, Guattari and Zapatismo (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) PDF
Nathan Widder 301-304
Double review: Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil ; Christa Davis Acampora and Keith Ansell Pearson, Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Reader’s Guide PDF
Robert Guay


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Armstrong, P.
The discourse of Michel Foucault: A sociological encounter
(2014) Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Article in Press.

Michel Foucault is a major source for the idea in critical accounting and organizational studies that identities (selves, subjectivities) are discursively constituted. This return to the text is intended as a clarification of what Foucault actually says on this matter and an assessment of how far it can be regarded as authoritative. The major conclusions are as follows. The subject matter of Foucault’s ‘discursive’ phase is not discourse in its generality but islands of organization (‘discursive formations’) within it. To all intents and purposes these are bodies of knowledge and Foucault’s focus is on those which he calls ‘human sciences’. His concern is to show that these can be understood as a rule-governed systems of discursive events. The alternative of an action-theoretic account is ruled out by Foucault’s declared intention of avoiding recourse to a concept of human agency. Thus Foucault does not theorize discourse as an expression of human subjectivity. Rather he theorizes the subject as an image of the human being which is produced by, and presumed in, self-organizing systems of knowledge.

In Foucault’s work up to and including The Archaeology of Knowledge, therefore, the discursively constructed subject is not a flesh-and-blood human being at all. It is a thought-object constructed by, and within, the human sciences. Because there are a number of human sciences there are a corresponding number of constituted subjects, each of which, in the first instance, has currency only within its parent knowledge. In Foucault’s earlier Order of Things, however, a unitary ‘contemporary subject’ is theorized as a composite of these constructs. Since the constituting discourses are depicted as evolving autonomously, Foucault is thus able to produce a history of ‘the different modes by which … human beings are made subjects’.

All this means that any support from Foucault for the idea that subjectivities are discursively constituted in actuality must rest on Foucault’s genealogical phase. In Discipline and Punish, the human sciences are depicted, not as self-organizing fields of knowledge, but as the theoretical arms of various regimes of behavioural correction. Foucault is convincing in his claim that this ‘power-knowledge’ has diffused outwards from the total institutions in which it was prototyped, thence to become the characteristically modern modality of power. He is much less convincing on the question of its effects. Despite Foucault’s talk of ‘shaping the soul’, in fact, it is not clear that he has anything at all to say about this. The problem is that all of his descriptions of the various disciplinary orders are ‘top down’ accounts, relying either on the programmes of legal theorists and institutional reformers or on observation of institutional routines by official inspectors. The voice of the inmate is absent entirely, as is any evidence that disciplinary regimes achieve anything more than a calculative conformity to their behavioural dictates. This is not to deny that disciplinary power may impact on subjectivities.

The point here is that such an effect needs to be evidenced rather than simply assumed on the basis of (what has been taken to be) Foucault’s say-so. In critical accounting, unfortunately, the tendency has been to treat accounting as a discursive system or regime of power-knowledge and then cite Foucault as if this were sufficient to establish that it works through the production of subjectivities. The paper concludes with a discussion of two recent examples, one of which appeals to a concept of discursive constitution and one to the concept of power-knowledge.

Author Keywords
Archaeology; Discourse; Discursive constitution; Foucault; Power-knowledge; Subject; Subjectification

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2013.10.009

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Barros, S.R.
Deciphering Babel: Dis/locations of the professional self and the second language curriculum
(2013) Qualitative Report, 18 (52).

Full PDF

In the following (auto) ethnographic study, I draw from Burdick’s (2012) analogy of qualitative research as “auto-archeology” and from parrhesia (Foucault, 1988) as a rhetorical device of self-definition and preservation to explore the interplay of power and identity within the context of second language education discourses. Specifically, I focus on the ways in which, through the creation of particular performative strategies, two educators working within the context of Liberal Arts institutions negotiate, construct and resist the everyday pressures and implied prejudices often associated with the curriculum and instruction of second languages in the United States. I conclude this study by arguing that the examination of how institutional power is reflected in teachers’ narratives is essential to the achievement of a better understanding of the lack of solidarity among the professoriate as well as the disconnect between authority, theory and praxis in the exercise of the second language profession.

Author Keywords

Autoethnography; Identity; Language education and democracy; Parrhesia

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