Genealogies of governmentality: producing and managing young children and their education

Ailwood, Joanne (2004) Genealogies of governmentality: producing and managing young children and their education. The Australian Educational Researcher, 31(3), pp. 19-33.


Genealogies, or histories of the present, create critical spaces to remind us of the non-necessity of that which we consider necessary to our lives (Burchell 1993). Further, genealogies of governmentality attempt to create this space with a focus on how conduct is conducted. In this paper I suggest that genealogies of governmentality are one way to make critical analyses of the education of young children. Sociologies of childhood consider childhood to be a relational concept, functioning in relation to adulthood. I argue that genealogies are one way to illuminate these relationships. In particular pointing towards the ways in which the education of young children is deeply embedded in a range of complex and contradictory ‘adult’ discourses and knowledges, including those of motherhood, politics, worker, citizen and the economy. To illustrate this I provide an analysis of the provision of preschool education in Queensland’s government schools.

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22 citations in Scopus
16 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 6019
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: early childhood education and care, genealogy, governmentality, Foucault
ISSN: 0311-6999
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 AARE
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:21

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