23 SES 13 B, Theorising and Using Crises in Education
Symposium, Part 1
To be democratic an organisation’s fundamental principle is to recognize and to give each citizen a real and equal place (cf Laclau). Consequently, a democratic organisation necessarily needs to accept both difference and equality of voice as a legitimate operating principle (Balibar). Each difference constitutes a ‘place of exception’. Psychoanalytically the paper argues contemporary uneasiness results from 1) attacks against the place of exception's legitimacy; and (2 reducing people to consumers under capitalist logics, real differences are erased as people are treated by the market as homogeneous. The psychological, political and educational implications will be explored through clinical case data drawn from the experience of young people whose expression of exception finds no legitimate place in schools and society. Drawing on contemporary debates about the place and the state of exception (e.g., Agamben, Zizek, Butler) the paper argues that issues such as riots, violence at school, decline of authority and responsibilities faced by children, teachers and parents directly result from the pressure on individuals by neo-liberal capitalist philosophies to ‘fulfill’ oneself through market competition. However, despite the worship of individualism, real differences are not recognised and find no legitimate place. What are the implications for school organisation?
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