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ERIC Number: EJ1165023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Pedagogy of the Anxious: Rethinking Critical Pedagogy in the Context of Neoliberal Autonomy and Responsibilization
De Lissovoy, Noah
Journal of Education Policy, v33 n2 p187-205 2018
Critical pedagogy, and the work of Paulo Freire in particular, understands the struggle for emancipation as involving the emergence, as historical subjects, of those who have been marginalized. In this regard, this tradition could be said to foreground a "politics of the subject" as central to its philosophy. However, scholars of critical pedagogy have not adequately attended to the reorganization of subjectivity that neoliberalism itself proposes. In the context of a pervasive anxiety produced by contemporary processes of precarity and fragmentation, neoliberalism asks us to understand ourselves on the basis of principles of individual responsibility, autonomy, and competition. Starting from the Foucauldian notion of "governmentality" and the Lacanian notions of "drive" and "desire," I describe how this neoliberal recomposition of the subject poses a challenge to key principles in critical pedagogy. Thus, Freire's account of the paralysis that characterizes the oppressed stands in contrast to the particular autonomy and hypermobility that neoliberalism demands. Likewise, the privileging of the sphere of consciousness in Freire overlooks the structure of libidinal investments within neoliberal circuits of consumption and communication. This interrogation has implications for critical education in the present, which I argue should invite students to betray the compulsions of their anxious autonomy in favor of a collective commitment and enlivened agency.
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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