Foucault and Lifelong Learning: Governing the Subject, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Foucault and Lifelong Learning

Governing the Subject, 1st Edition

Edited by Andreas Fejes, Katherine Nicoll


208 pages

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pub: 2008-01-17
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Over the last twenty years there has been increasing interest in the work of Michel Foucault in the social sciences and in particular with relation to education. This, the first book to draw on his work to consider lifelong learning, explores the significance of policies and practices of lifelong learning to the wider societies of which they are a part.

With a breadth of international contributors and sites of analysis, this book offers insights into such questions as:

  • What are the effects of lifelong learning policies within socio-political systems of governance?
  • What does lifelong learning do to our understanding of ourselves as citizens?
  • How does lifelong learning act in the regulation and re-ordering of what people do?

The book suggests that understanding of lifelong learning as contributory to the knowledge economy, globalisation or the new work order may need to be revised if we are to understand its impact more fully. It therefore makes a significant contribution to the study of lifelong learning.

Table of Contents

1. Mobilizing Foucault in studies of lifelong learning Katherine Nicoll and Andreas Fejes Section 1: Governing policy subjects 2. Actively seeking subjects? Richard Edwards 3. Understanding the mechanisms of neoliberal control: lifelong learning flexibility and knowledge capitalism Mark Olssen 4. Our ‘will to learn’ and the assemblage of a learning apparatus Maarten Simons and Jan Masschelein 5. The operation of knowledge and construction of the lifelong learning subject Ulf Olsson and Kenneth Petersson 6. The reason of reason: cosmopolitanism, social exclusion and lifelong learning Thomas S. Popkewitz 7. Historicizing the lifelong learner: governmentality and neoliberal rule Andreas Fejes Section 2: Governing pedagogical subjects 8. Self-governance in the job search: regulative guidelines in job seeking Marinette Fogde 9. Adult learner identities under construction Katarina Sipos Zackrisson and Liselott Assarsson 10. Recognition of prior learning as a technique of governing Per Andersson 11. Pathologizing and medicalizing lifelong learning: a deconstruction Gun Berglund 12. Motivation theory as power in disguise Helene Ahl 13. Discipline and e-learning Katherine Nicoll 14. Academic work and adult education: a site of multiple subjects Nicky Solomon Section 3: Governing subjects 15. Encountering Foucault in lifelong learning Gert Biesta

About the Editors

Andreas Fejes is a senior lecturer and postdoctoral fellow in Education at Linköping University, Sweden. His research explores lifelong learning and adult education, in particular drawing on poststructuralist theory. He has recently published articles in Journal of Education Policy, Educational Philosophy and Theory, International Journal of Lifelong Education and Teaching in Higher Education.

Dr Katherine Nicoll is a senior lecturer in Education at the University of Stirling, Scotland. Her research explores post-compulsory and professional education and policy, in particular drawing on poststructuralist theory. She has recently published Rhetoric and Educational Discourse: Persuasive Texts? (with R. Edwards, N. Solomon and R. Usher, 2004) and Flexibility and Lifelong Learning: Policy, Discourse and Politics (2006).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Adult & Continuing Education
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects