23 SES 10 B, Education as Applied Politics: Critiquing and Inscribing Policy into Practice and Building Alternatives (Part 2)
Symposium: continued from 23 SES 10 B
For some theorists, like Zizek, there is no escape from the cycle of the discourses of mastery described by Lacan. A new, albeit ‘better’ master inevitably arises. For radical democratic theorists (e.g., Mouffe, Fraser, Balibar) this rise of the new master is checked by creating forms of social organisation where voices engage on a par with each other. In this paper we engage in a dialogue between the psychoanalytic and the democratic discourses of co-operation to explore the possibility of escape. We ask: What forms of discourse underpin the policy and practice of the socially just school? The authors agree that the counter discourses to the prevailing elites are founded in the dignity of critical thinking and the development of prefigurative discourses to create alternative policy and practice. We differ as to whether what is created is just another policy discourse of the master and governance by elites. Data is drawn from the case of working psychoanalytically with violent young students in France with that of working with students in a co-operative school in the UK. We compare and contrast what is at stake in the discourses of school organisation and the politics and policy of education.
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