NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1023700
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1474-8460
Terror/Enjoyment: Performativity, Resistance and the Teacher's Psyche
Clarke, Matthew
London Review of Education, v11 n3 p229-238 2013
This paper focuses on Stephen Ball's article, "The teacher's soul and the terrors of performativity", since it is here that he analyses the issue of how neoliberal education policies shape teacher identities that I also wish to explore. I begin by providing a summary of the 2003 piece, noting how it locates teachers and their work in the midst of policy, politics, and passion in contrast to dominant techno-rational discourses of teaching--embodied, for example, in discourses of professional teacher "standards" or "competencies" that reduce teaching to matters of technical efficiency. As part of this summary, and complementing Ball's own use of Foucault, I use the four "axes" of Foucault's ethics to explain how performativity has brought about changes in relation to (1) the domain, (2) the authority sources/mode of subjectivization, (3) the practices and (4) the telos of being a teacher. The paper goes on to argue that Ball's emphasis on "terror" can usefully be supplemented by a Lacanian-inspired recognition of "enjoyment" as an explanatory factor that help us understand the grip of neoliberalism's ideology of performativity. The paper concludes by examining the economies of fantasy and enjoyment as they relate to the work of teachers, how these economies work to sustain the terrors of performativity, and how an ethics of the Real that emphasizes the critical and creative potential of sublimation, might form part of a repertoire of resistance.
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A