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Governing the Self

A Foucauldian Critique of Managerialism in Education

Patrick Fitzsimons

Governing the Self is about the constitution of the self. Through self-constitution, the subject is implicated in its own governance within a discourse that is increasingly shaped by neoliberal economic theory. Managerialism has become the modern mode of discipline for self production – an inadequate model for education in that the subject of managerialism, homo economicus, cannot adequately account for the ‘other’ in the educational relation. Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality is used to unravel the problematic connection between education and economics in the production of human capital. This book does not reject managerialism outright, calling instead for its disciplinary force to be delimited and some attention paid to the ‘other’ in the pedagogic relationship.