Book Chapter

Action at a distance: governmentality, subjectivity and workplace learning

Citation

Edwards R & Nicoll K (2007) Action at a distance: governmentality, subjectivity and workplace learning. In: Billett S, Fenwick T & Summerville M (eds.) Work, subjectivity and learning: Understanding learning through working life. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects, 6. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 179-193. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/1-4020-5360-6_11

Abstract
Drawing on the work of Foucault, Rose and actor-network theory this chapter examines some of the methodological and theoretical implications of this work for conceptions of workplace learning. We suggest that workplaces need to be examined for the spatio-temporal ordering of practices and the actors drawn into them in order to move beyond the totalizing discourses of for instance, the knowledge economy, globalization, performativity and even workplace learning itself. We argue that there is no single trajectory for workplace subjectivities and that pedagogic practices are embedded in the actor-networks of specific workplaces. These networks can be formulated as part of those actions at a distance associated with the development of governmental power in contemporary social orders. This is illustrated by way of a critique of discourses that posit a move from disciplined, Fordist work to flexible Post-Fordist forms of work. In this way, we seek to locate discussions of workplace learning within the wider debates in the social sciences about changing practices of governing and the differing forms of subjectivity associated with them. The chapter is intended to illuminative and is theory driven.

StatusPublished
Title of seriesTechnical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects
Number in series6
Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherSpringer
Publisher URLhttp://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/1-4020-5360-6_11
Place of publicationDordrecht
ISBN978-1-4020-5359-7