Interpreting Foucault: an evaluation of a Foucauldian critique of education

Woermann, Minka
February 2012
South African Journal of Education;Feb2012, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p111
Academic Journal
The potential strengths and weaknesses of a Foucauldian critique of education are discussed and evaluated. The article focuses specifically on the value of Foucault's work for critiquing social and political ideologies prevalent in education, which is understood as a societal institution, and hence, as a modern regime of institutional power. In terms of strengths, the ability to raise issues of knowledge, power and contestation that are traditionally ignored in educational theory is addressed. In terms of weaknesses, Foucault's problematic use and understanding of power and his apparent rejection of objective truth are investigated. The critique develops at the hand of influential, but competing, interpretations of Foucault's contribution to the field of education in particular, and philosophy in general. It is argued that these influential readings of Foucault gain traction within specific discourses (such as education), and should thus be subjected to critical scrutiny.


Related Articles

  • The Pastoral Power of Technology. Rethinking Alienation in Digital Culture. Nygren, Katarina Giritli; Gidlund, Katarina L. // TripleC (Cognition, Communication, Co-Operation): Open Access Jo;2012, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p509 

    The purpose of this paper is to rethink alienation in digital culture in the light of Foucault's "pastoral modalities of power". Pastoral power does not displace other conceptions of power, but provides another level of analysis when considering the forging of reasonable, responsible subjects...

  • On Politics and the Little Tools of Democracy: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Asdal, Kristin // Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory;2008, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p11 

    The aim of this paper is not to explore what democracy is in some normative sense, but rather how, and with what, democracy gets carried out in practice. In doing this the author seeks to rework the focus on the tactics and materialities of government developed within Foucault's work on...

  • TERROR AND EMANCIPATION.  // Cultural Critique;Winter2000, Issue 44, p43 

    In the article the author argues that the criticism of elites limiting the access to computer technology to all citizens is invalid. The author addresses concepts related to the power structures involved with the issue of access of computers and builds on the work of philosopher Michel Foucault....

  • ESCRITOS URGENTES. NIKOS POULANTZAS Y EL EUROCOMUNISMO DE IZQUIERDA. Abal Medina, Paula // Andamios;sep-dic2011, Vol. 8 Issue 17, p287 

    This article essays two pathways to analyze theoretical and political productivity of the last book of the Greek-French philosopher Nikos Poulantzas. In the first one, reflecting on his proposal about the articulation between socialism and democracy. In this frame, we emphasize the uniqueness of...

  • Governmentality as a Genealogical Toolbox in Historical Analysis. Andersson, Janicke // European Education;Winter2013, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p61 

    The aim of this article is to show how governmentality may be used to analyze historical events and discourses, and how this historical analysis can be used as a perspective to problematize contemporary discourses. The example used in this article is from my research on life-extension handbooks...

  • THE CONCEPT OF TRUTH REGIME. WEIR, LORNA // Canadian Journal of Sociology;Summer2008, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p367 

    "Truth regime" is a much used but little theorized concept, with the Foucauldian literature presupposing that truth in modernity is uniformly scientific/quasi-scientific and enhances power. I argue that the forms of truth characteristic of our present are wider than Foucault recognized, their...

  • Poderes e solidariedade: Foucault no colégio apostólico. SOLANO ROSSI, LUIZ ALEXANDRE // Theologica Xaveriana;ene-jun2013, Vol. 63 Issue 175, p199 

    This paper aims at discussing the text of Mark 10,32-45 under the scope of the Biblical Theology and Foucault's analytical theory of power. The methodology of this study corresponds to a bibliographical order based on contributions from research on Mark, Mediterranean society in the first...

  • Foucault avec Lacan: le sujet en acte. Mendelsohn, Sophie // Filozofski Vestnik;2010, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p139 

    The critique of psychoanalysis by late Foucault discretely opens up the possibility of a paradoxical dialogue with Lacan. The article aims to reconstruct the possibility of such a dialogue by recasting the issue of the subject. Conceiving the latter as an effect of his act, the article sets out...

  • REdEEMiNg FOUCAULT. SELMYS, MELiNDA // New Oxford Review;Jul/Aug2014, Vol. 81 Issue 6, p35 

    The article explores the positive sides of the works by Michel Foucault, who is mostly associated with relativism, social constructivism and homosexuality. Topics discussed include the ways the truths within his works are particularly appropriate with the culture, his rejection of the liberal...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics