‘Flexibility’, Community and Making Parents Responsible

Educational Philosophy and Theory 37 (6):885–906 (2005)

Abstract
This article draws on Foucault's concept of governmentality to explore how recent political moves to legalise ‘flexibility’ mobilises education authorities to make ‘community’ a technical means of achieving the political objective of schooling the child. I argue that ‘flexibility’ in this sense is a neo‐liberal strategy that shifts relations between the governed and the State. In this way, it transforms the idea of schooling from a State run institution for the purpose of ‘community building’ to a community run institution for the purpose of making parents governable by both instrumentalising and institutionalising individualism through the force of community membership. Rather than a form of liberation from bureaucratic rule, the paper exposes how ‘flexibility’ acts as a normalising strategy that works with difference to entangle parents as community members in the process of schooling the child through the moral obligation of the contract
Keywords governmentality  community  educational legislation  Foucault  parent responsibility  contract  choice  flexibility
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2005.00164.x
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The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Truth and Power (1977).Michel Foucault - 2007 - In Craig J. Calhoun (ed.), Contemporary Sociological Theory. Blackwell. pp. 201--208.
Technologies of the Self.Michel Foucault - 2001 - Filosoficky Casopis 49 (2):319-343.

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