Pathologising difference, governing personality

Tait, Gordon (1999) Pathologising difference, governing personality. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 29(1), pp. 93-102.

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Recent research has stressed the integral part played by teachers in both preliminary diagnosis and ongoing treatment of a range of conduct and personality disorders. Teachers are not only required to be aware of a variety of new categories of difference (Attention Deficit Disorder, Selective Mutism, Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, to name but a few), but are also now lauded for extending the role of education into new areas of social management. This paper will take issue with this understanding on two counts: first, teachers have always sought to mould the personalities of students, and the pathologisation of specific forms of conduct is simply a new tactic within a very old and familiar strategy. Second, schools do not simply discover disorders such as ADD as objective facts of nature. Rather, they are part of the process through which such differences are created, and by which individuals can be more effectively governed.

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ID Code: 28869
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Behaviour Disorders, Pathologising, ADHD, Governance, Inclusive Education
DOI: 10.1080/13598660120032996
ISSN: 1359-866X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2009 02:08
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:12

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