ERG SES G 12, Studies in Education
The paper explores the public schools organizational life in times of change, where the reform permeates and alters the very core of the school. Enhanced ubiquitous leadership, new ways of organizing the teachers practice, new ways of cooperating, new ways of performing as a professional teacher etc. are the agenda in Danish public schools today. The paper elaborates on, how the ubiquitous leadership frames the discursive, material and affective aspects in the school, and how there is given rise to a new professionalized culture and subject positions, which at the same time excludes other absent and submerged voices.
The paper draws on Derrida’s concept hauntology understood as an ‘absent present’ (Derrida 1994). It draws attention to that every concept is haunted by its mutually constituted excluded other (Barad 2010), and in an awareness of the ‘absent’, the present in the school can be rendered meaningful (Vass 2015). The absent can be understood as past or future submerged voices. The concept hauntology offers an analytic understanding of the temporal dimension in the process, of what was and is yet to come. The school reform can be seen as a transformation process, which implies a constant orientation towards past and future practices, and collapse a lineary orientation of time and space. The transformation process is a transition between old and new practices, where usual practice is disrupted, and it gives rise to an increased affective atmosphere, which feeds frustrated and submerged voices and ghosts. Therefore the paper also draws on the concept affect in order to understand, how different bodies and voices in the school are affectively targeted and modulated, how they affect the social life in the school, how they give rise to/submerge absent voices and ghosts. (Bjerg and Staunæs 2011; Massumi 2002; Blackman 2012).
According to Derrida a ghost is always a revenant (Derrida 1994), so the more absent and submerged the voices of the ghost becomes, the more it haunts and disturb; it feeds the ghost. Hauntology makes it possible to explore what voices in my empirical material are submerged but still haunt, what voices are dominant, and how do they become a co-constitutive affective force in the social life and space in the school.
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