NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1021511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Touching Practice and Physical Education: Deconstruction of a Contemporary Moral Panic
Fletcher, Simon
Sport, Education and Society, v18 n5 p694-709 2013
This paper explores the insecurities and discursive moral panics elicited by the discussion of intergenerational touch in education, and their subsequent manifestation in "classroom panopticism". In a number of contexts, public hysteria has grown around the interaction between adult and child, and whether this interaction stays within the narrow parameters of a generally consensual "acceptability". Crossing these boundaries carries grave consequences for those deemed to be exploiting their position and this has had significant implications for the self-identity of practitioners. This climate of preventative fear has also served to manipulate regulatory method, realigning conceptions of practitioner independence. Drawing on interviews with Physical Education teachers in English secondary schools, and applying a Foucauldian theoretical framework, with particular reference to his interpretation of panopticism, this paper investigates the conceptual transformation of contemporary education. Whilst school spaces were once representative of stability, in which roles were clearly defined, the hierarchical dynamic has changed. The teacher, who previously presided with relative professional freedom and autonomy, is now subject to myriad pressures associated with "appropriate" behaviour and the avoidance of any "problematic" interactional incident. Foucault's treatment of panopticism is apt here, as teachers must conduct themselves with an acceptance that they are now governed by an unpredictable yet persistent practical scrutiny.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A