ERIC Number: EJ1096881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Complicating Gert Biesta's Account of Subjectification: ŽIžekian Negativity and Buddhist "SuNyata"
Oral, Sevket Benhur
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v47 n2 p211-227 May 2016
Biesta identifies three functions that educational systems perform: qualification, socialization, and subjectification. Subjectification involves ways of being whereby individuals exercise their capacity to remain independent from the existing orders by challenging their uncontested insertion into these orders. For Biesta, becoming a subject primarily revolves around the process of the formation of democratic subjectivity. The latter is partly based on his appropriation of Jacques Rancière's notion of democratic politics, where the existing orders (of inequalities) get interrupted in the name of the idea of equality thereby opening up the possibility of new configurations in which what was invisible and without voice becomes visible and heard. Despite the fact that Rancière advances a thesis against the tendency to posit an originary unity underlying the conflict-ridden political world and understands political subjectification as an operation that reconfigures the field of experience riddled with conflict and disruptions, he nonetheless does not provide a sufficient account of the ontogenesis of subjectification. The thesis of this paper is that Biesta's conception of subjectification runs the risk of being compromised by the confusion of the terms self and subject for it fails to go deep enough into the ontological negativity posited by Žižek, wherein the very process of failure to become a subject underlies the absolute negativity of subjectivity proper. It will be argued that a Žižekian account of the subject has direct implications for how we should understand the function of education, which is to point to the subject as pure negativity.
Descriptors: Educational Practices, Socialization, Personal Autonomy, Democracy, Equal Education, Politics of Education, Ideology, Negative Attitudes, Role of Education, Educational Philosophy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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