Conference Paper (unpublished)

Ordering Subjects: Governmentality and Lifelong Learning


Edwards R (2008) Ordering Subjects: Governmentality and Lifelong Learning. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting 2008, New York, 24.03.2008-28.03.2008.

This paper explores the relationship between changes in governing in contemporary social orders and the significance of lifelong learning for this. Drawing on Foucault’s notions of governmentality and technologies of the self, and concepts derived from actor-network theory, it argues that discourses of lifelong learning act as intellectual technologies through which there is the attempt to fashion certain networks and order certain form of sociality. In the process of representing and mobilising lifelong learning, new orderings for the conduct of conduct are produced, which provide possibilities for subjectivity in alignment with a moral economy of enterprise, in which the self becomes something to work and capitalise upon. The paper also points to the fragility of such actor-networks, as the processes of representation become more diffuse and subject to (dis)orders.

Governmentality; Lifelong Learning; Discipline; Foucault; Identity; Technologies of the self; Intellectual technologies; Actor-network theory

Publication date31/12/2008
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ConferenceAmerican Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting 2008
Conference locationNew York