The special branch : governing mentalities through alternative-site placement

Graham, Linda J. (2009) The special branch : governing mentalities through alternative-site placement. In Peters, Michael A., Besley, Tina A.C. , Olssen, Mark, & Weber, Susanne (Eds.) Governmentality Studies in Education. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 355-368.

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"…one should try to locate power at the extreme points of its exercise, where it is always less legal in character." (Foucault, 1980, p.97)

Studies of schooling practices as techniques deriving from a particular art of governing that Foucault (2003b) called ‘governmentality’ have shown how psychopathologising discourses work to construct particular student-subjects and legitimise various practices of exclusion (Gram, 2007b). Here I extend this work to consider the use of alternative-site placement as an intensification in response to governmentality being put ‘at risk’. Governing ‘at a distance’ conjures an illusion of individual freedom which relies on the production of subjects who ‘choose’ to make choices that are consistent with the aspirations of government. In this chapter, it is argued that the designation of a child as ‘disorderly’ legitimises the intrusion of state into the private domain of the family via the Trojan horse of early intervention. This is enabled by the psy-sciences, whose technologies and aims amount to the moral retraining of ‘improper’ future-citizens who, in choosing to choose otherwise, threaten to make visible invisible relations of power. Alternative-site placement in special schools running intensive behaviour modification programs allows for a ‘redoubled insistence’ (Ewald, 1992) of these norms and limits that a ‘disorderly’ child threatens to transgress.

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ID Code: 78052
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Disruptive behaviour, Governmentality, Special schooling, Inclusive education, Foucault
ISBN: 9789087909840
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Sense Publishers
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2014 23:14
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2015 15:15

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