Monsters and confessing animals: A Foucauldian approach to vocational education
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
We are encouraged today in contemporary liberal, democratic, capitalist societies to turn our gaze towards our inner self, scrutinizing who we are and disclosing this to teachers, counsellors, parents, friends and strangers. This disclosure of the self as a ‘confession’ has become quite familiar in educational settings. Pupils are asked to scrutinize themselves as learners, to evaluate their behaviour and disclose this so that they can be corrected and correct themselves. Confession is a technique embedded in the use of for example individual study plans, learning portfolios and learning guidance and counselling. Through confession in education and other walks of life we increasingly come to know, judge, and shape ourselves and others. I call these practices of self-disclosure a technology of the self of confession. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault, I will problematize how confession operates within vocational education. Questions raised are: How does confession operate, and with what effects? Have we all become confessing animals? And is it possible to live the present otherwise, i.e. are we trapped within the confessional?
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106589OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-106589DiVA: diva2:716859
Third international conference on vocational education and training, Stockholm University, May 12-13