ERG SES D 09, Tertiary and Lifelong Education
Lifelong learning (LLL) has been seen as a required response to rapid growth of economic, technological and societal pressures since the 1960s (e.g. Biesta 2006; Olssen 2008). Nowadays the ideology of LLL has become an unquestionable truth which most scholars say is governed by the hegemonical discourse of economy. (e.g. Fejes 2005; Olssen 2008.) The LLL has emerged as an unquestionable self-governing policy which is constantly reconstructed through different techniques, such as self-assessment, self-evaluation and recurrent updating of the skills of becoming ´an active citizen´. (Fejes 2005; 2006.) The Foucauldian concept of governmentality refers to power relations, where one regulates his own conduct (the conduct of conduct) according to the taken-for-granted rationalities (Foucault 2010a; 2010b). In this paper, LLL is studied as a technology of governmentality in different historical rationalities.
Rubenson (2006) divides the history of lifelong learning into three different “generations” in Europe. The institutionalised history started from the humanistic paradigm and was mainly ruled by UNESCO from the late 1960s to the beginning of the 1980s. Second generation spanned from the beginning of the 1980s to the new millennium. It was mainly governed by the economic views of the OECD and it is often referred as an economist generation. Third generation started from the beginning of the 21st century and it is said to be a mix of the last two generations and called as a soft economist generation (Rubenson 2006; eg. Biesta 2006; Olssen 2008; Centeno 2011.)
The paper is based on my ongoing doctoral thesis, consisting of two parts: 1. the genealogical and governmentality analysis of the LLL and 2. the analysis of the present (3rd generation of LLL) from the perspective of governmentality, using genealogy as a toolbox. This paper focuses on the history of lifelong learning (first part).
Research question and the main purpose of the paper is to analyze the history of LLL from the genealogical and analytics of governmentality perspective.
Genealogy can be described as an incitement to study the form and consequences of universals in particular historical situations and practices grounded in problems raised in the course of particular social and political struggles (e.g. Foucault 1997). The relation of genealogy to present-day genealogy is anti-anachronistic. Past formations are not read as previous circumstances or necessary stages towards the present. (Dean 1999; Rose 1999.)
Foucault´s own work on governmentality implied that one could identify specific political rationalizations emerging in precise sites and at specific historical moments, and underpinned by coherent systems of thought, and that one could also show how different kinds of calculations, strategies and tactics were linked to each. (Rose 1999, 24; Foucault 1991.)
When studying liberalism, welfare or neo-liberalism from the perspective of governmentality, they should be understood as individuating a multiplicity of attempts to rationalize the nature and means and styles of governing, techniques and practices to which they become linked. (Rose 1999, 28.) State is constituted by discourses, ideologies, worldviews and different styles of thought that allow political actors to develop strategies. In political rationalities these symbolic devices define who may qualify as a political subject or citizen. (Lemke 2012, 28.)
Technologies of government are technologies, which shape the conduct in the name of producing certain desired effects. Rose terms these “human technologies”. It is human capacities that are to be understood and acted upon technical means. A technology of government is a collection of practical knowledge, practices of calculation, vocabularies, types of authority, forms of judgement, architectural forms, human capacities, non-human objects and devices, etc. (Rose 1999, 52.)
Biesta, G. 2006. What´s the point of Lifelong Learning if Lifelong Learning Has No Point? On the Democratic Deficit of Policies for Lifelong Learning. European Educational Research Journal, 5, (3 & 4), 169–180. Centeno, V. 2011. Lifelong learning: a policy concept with a long past but a short history. International Journal of Lifelong Learning. Vol. 30, no 2. 133-150. Dean, M. 1999. Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. London: Sage Publications. Fejes, A. 2005. New wine in old skins: changing patterns in the governing of the adult learner in Sweden. International Journal of Lifelong Education. Vol. 24, no. 1. 71-86. Fejes, A. 2006a. Constructing the Adult Learner: A Governmentality Analysis, Linköping:Liu-Tryck. Fejes, A. 2006b. The planetspeak discourse of lifelong learning in Sweden: what is an educable adult? Journal of Education Policy. Vol. 21, no 6. 697-716. Fejes, A. 2008. What´s the use of Foucault in research on lifelong learning and post-compulsory education? A review of four academic journals. Studies in the Education of Adults. Vol. 40. no 1. 7-23. Fejes, A. & Dahlstedt, M. 2013. The Confession Society. Foucault, confession and practices of lifelong learning. London: Routledge. Foucault, M. 1991. Governmentality in Burchell, G., Gordon, C. & Miller, P. (eds.) The Foucault Effect. Studies in Governmentality. With two lectures and an interview with Michel Foucault. Harvester Wheatshaf: London. Foucault, M. 1997. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” In Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, edited by D.F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Foucault, M. 2010a. Seksualisuuden historia (The History of Sexuality).Suom. Kaisa Sivenius. Gaudeamus: Helsinki. Foucault, M. 2010b. Turvallisuus, alue, väestö. Hallinnallisuuden historia. (Security, Territory, Population) Collège de Francen luennot 1977-1978. Suom. Antti Paakkari. Tutkijaliitto: Helsinki. Lemke, T. 2012. Foucault, Governmentality, and Critique. Paradigm Publishers: London. Nicoll, K. & Fejes, A. 2008. Mobilizing Foucault in studies of Lifelong Learning in Nicoll, K & Fejes, A. (eds.) Foucault and Lifelong Learning. Governing the Subject. Routledge: London. Olssen, M. 2008. Understanding the mechanisms of neoliberal control. Lifelong learning, flexibility and knowledge capitalism. Teoksessa Fejes, A & Nicoll, K (toim.) Foucault and lifelong learning. Governing the subject. London: Routledge. 34-47. Rose, N. 1999. Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge. Rubenson, K. 2006. The Nordic model of Lifelong Learning. Compare, 36(3), 327–341.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.