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ERIC Number: EJ1038659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Corporeality, Equality, and Education: A Biopedagogical Perspective
Vlieghe, Joris
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v36 n4 p320-339 2014
In this article the author develops a new perspective on the role and the position of the human body in the world of education. The interest in the theme of corporeality is far from new, and this applies not only to the field of social sciences in general (where in the last two decades a corporeal turn has taken place, see Sheets-Johnstone 2009), but also to the field of educational theory. This (re)new(ed) interest in the body was welcomed by many scholars, because in education corporeality used to be dealt with in a condescending manner or it has been the object of oppressive measures (e.g., Bresler 2004; Estola and Elbaz-Luwissh 2003; Kraus 2008; Macintyre Latta and Buck 2008; O'Farrell, Meadmore, McWilliam, and Symes 2000; Watkins 2007; Zembylas 2003). The author raises two fundamental objections. The first is that to these so-called body-centered pedagogies, the corporeal appears in a stereotypical way, viz. as a source of intentionality and meaning that has been forgotten about and which should put at work again. The second objection is that the proclaimed corporeal turn might have taken place in theory, but that in concrete pedagogical practices this is not the case at all: In the every-day world of education the body is still a matter of no importance or it is carefully kept under control. Of course, this discrepancy between theory and practice might be easily explained by saying that dualist and intellectualist prejudices are quite persistent and that time is not yet ripe for a truly body-centered pedagogy. However, in the author's view, this account only explains the problem away: It does not help us in understanding why the body had--and most likely still has--such a bad reputation in the first place. The aim of this author is to show how a biopolitical account might respond to the two objections just mentioned. First, a biopolitical view allows for a different view than the stereotypical, Merleau-Pontian idea that the body is important insofar and only insofar it is a source of meaning. Second, a biopolitical perspective grants a more adequate understanding of why it is that the body--in spite of a corporeal turn in theory--is still ignored or suppressed in daily educational practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A