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ERIC Number: EJ1101671
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
The (Bio)Politicization of Neuroscience in Australian Early Years Policies: Fostering Brain-Resources "as" Human Capital
Millei, Zsuzsa; Joronen, Mikko
Journal of Education Policy, v31 n4 p389-404 2016
At the present, human capital theory (HCT) and neuroscience reasoning are dominant frameworks in early childhood education and care (ECEC) worldwide. Popular since the 1960s, HCT has provided an economic understanding of human beings and offered strategies to manage the population with the promise of bringing improvements to nations. Neuroscience arguments added new ways to regulate human beings, and thus another "hopeful ethos" and investment into the future. In this paper, we examine different positive, life-improving, and hopeful takes on early childhood as forms of biopolitical government, which are closely related to the enhancement of individual capacities and the shifting problems of the neoliberal state. Curiously, this process, grounded on biological fatalism and naturalizing arguments, has led to new class categorizations and ways of social discrimination. We hence argue that even though a "hopeful ethos" is offered through the (bio)politicization of neurosciences, it has led to eugenic arguments by re-inscribing social and economic differences into differences in brain architecture. Finally, we aim to demonstrate that ECEC policy offers an example of how current policies govern through scientific evidence and softer forms of "government by example", at the same time moving the government of population into the home, and with that privatizing and personalizing self-investment.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A