I/MLEs and the uneven return of pastoral power
(2016) Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp. 1-8. Article in Press.
Editor: I/MLE stands for Innovative/Modern Learning Environments
Informed by the work of the work of Michel Foucault, Ian Hunter, and Ansgar Allen, this paper argues that I/MLEs are not the creation of a ‘modern’ or ‘innovative’ learning environment but rather the reclamation of an educational technique that was pioneered en masse almost two centuries ago (and based on practices many centuries older than that), where established pastoral methods were key to shaping particularly formed educated subjects. Drawing on work produced by the OECD, as well as UK and NZ education policies and school building design guidance, this argument couches two claims, the first of which is that whether or not education systems and school buildings are conforming to I/MLE models, the ubiquity of ideologically narrow conceptions of the learning subject are enforced regardless, through subtle or unsubtle means. However, the second claim is that, despite their overarching and unsurprising ideological homogeneity with other more outcome oriented forms of schooling, I/MLEs have the potential to offer a much more substantial formative experience than other schooling systems due to their implicit recovery of the traditional pastoral aspect of education. © 2016 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
disciplinary power; I/MLEs; Michel Foucault; New Zealand education policy; Pastoral power; UK education policy
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Posted in Books on 11 February 2017|
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Heather Brunskell-Evans (Ed) The Sexualized Body and the Medical Authority of Pornography, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016
This edited collection examines pornography as a material practice that eroticises gender inequality and sexual violence towards women. It addresses the complex relationship between pornography and medicine (in particular, sexology and psycho-therapy) whereby medicine has historically, and currently, afforded pornography considerable legitimacy and even authority. Pornography naturalises women’s submission and men’s dominance as if gendered power is rooted in biology not politics. In contrast to the populist view that medicine is objective and rational, the contributors here demonstrate that medicine has been complicit with the construction of gender difference, and in that construction the relationship with pornography is not incidental but fundamental.
A range of theoretical approaches critically engages with this topic in the light, firstly, of radical feminist ideas about patriarchy and the politics of gender, and, secondly, of the rapidly changing conditions of global capitalism and digital-technologies. In its broad approach, the book also engages with the ideas of Michel Foucault, particularly his refutation of the liberal hypothesis that sexuality is a deep biological and psychological human property which is repressed by traditional, patriarchal discourses and which can be freed from authoritarianism, for example by producing and consuming pornography.
In taking pornography as a cultural and social phenomenon, the concepts brought to bear by the contributors critically scrutinise not only pornography and medicine, but also current media scholarship. The 21st century has witnessed a growth in (neo-)liberal academic literature which is pro-pornography. This book provides a critical counterpoint to this current academic trend, and demonstrates its lack of engagement with the politics of the multi-billion dollar pornography industry which creates the desire for the product it sells, the individualism of its arguments which analyse pornography as personal fantasy, and the paucity of theoretical analysis. In contrast, this book re-opens the feminist debate about pornography for a new generation of critical thinkers in the 21st century. Pornography matters politically and ethically. It matters in the real world as well as in fantasy; it matters to performers as well as to consumers; it matters to adults as well as to children; and it matters to men as well as to women.
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