There are 6 articles to read and to take notes on. These mainly focus on education, motivation, and psychology. Please ensure plagiarism free. Remember to follow all instructions well and carefully.
There are 6 articles to read and to take notes on. These mainly focus on education, motivation, and psychology. Please ensure plagiarism free. Remember to follow all instructions well and carefully.
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There are 6 articles to read and to take notes on. These mainly focus on education, motivation, and psychology. Please ensure plagiarism free. Remember to follow all instructions well and carefully.
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There are 6 articles to read and to take notes on. These mainly focus on education, motivation, and psychology. Please ensure plagiarism free. Remember to follow all instructions well and carefully.
Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=core20 Oxford Review of Education ISSN: 0305-4985 (Print) 1465-3915 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/core20 Children of the market: performativity, neoliberal responsibilisation and the construction of student identities Amanda Keddie To cite this article: Amanda Keddie (2016) Children of the market: performativity, neoliberal responsibilisation and the construction of student identities, Oxford Review of Education, 42:1, 108-122, DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2016.1142865 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2016.1142865 Published online: 03 Feb 2016.Submit your article to this journal Article views: 7097View related articles View Crossmark dataCiting articles: 29 View citing articles OxfOrd review Of educatiOn, 2016 vOL. 42, nO. 1, 108–122 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2016.1142865 Children of the market: performativity, neoliberal responsibilisation and the construction of student identities Amanda Keddie t he university of Queensland, a ustralia Introduction I got a Bronze medal and I was annoyed because I didn’t get the Silver, if I had got Silver I would have been annoyed because I didn’t get Gold. If I got Gold I would have been annoyed because I hadn’t got into the Europe Championship, if I got into the Europe Championship I’d be annoyed because I didn’t win. If I did win … I would be annoyed because my handwriting wasn’t neat enough. It’s like I appreciate it but then I think about all the stuff I could have done better and then I just end up annoyed. These comments are from ‘Rebecca’ who is in Year 6 at ‘Saffron’ Primary School. They refer to her performance in the Junior Maths Challenge (run by the United Kingdom Trust), which is aimed at pupils in Year 8. Rebecca offered this example to me to illustrate her descrip – tion of herself as a ‘really bad perfectionist’—as someone who is never satisfied with her performance, no matter how good and as someone who always wants to do better. The comments are an apt introduction to this paper as they reflect its focus on children’s take up of the neoliberal discourses of performativity and individual responsibilisation in their ABSTRACTThis paper draws on interview data gathered from a broader study concerned with examining issues of social justice, cultural diversity and schooling. The focus is on five students in Years 5 and 6 who attend a primary school located on the edge of a class-privileged area in outer London. The children are all high achievers who are very invested in doing well in school and in life within the parameters of neoliberalism. The paper examines the ways in which neoliberal discourses of performativity and individual responsibilisation permeate the children’s talk in relation to their understandings of education and their future, and their worth and value as students. Such examination enriches the findings of important research in this area that draws attention to the ways in which neoliberal discourses have become naturalised and taken-for-granted in what counts as being a good student and a good citizen. The paper problematises the individualism, competitiveness and anxiety produced by these discourses and provides further warrant for supporting students to identify, challenge and think beyond them. © 2016 taylor & f rancis KEYWORDSStudent identities; neoliberalism and schooling; performativity; responsibilisation CONTACT amanda Keddie [email protected] OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 109 constructions of themselves as worthwhile. In these comments we can see an existence of calculation in relation to Rebecca valuing herself in reference to external measures of success (performativity) while we can also see her accepting personal responsibility for such suc – cess (neoliberal responsibilisation). The individualism, competitiveness and anxiety within Rebecca’s remarks permeated the talk of the five high achieving students who are featured in this paper. The neoliberal student subject has been the focus of much research (see McLeod, 2000; Thompson, 2010; walkerdine, Lucey & Melody, 2001; wilkins, 2012a; 2012b; Youdell, 2004). Such research has examined how the imperatives of neoliberalism, which are reflected espe – cially in the individualism and competition encouraged by the ‘audit culture’ in education, have impacted on students’ identities. Broadly speaking, this culture utilises business-derived concepts of measurement, evaluation and comparison (Leys, 2003) to represent school effec – tiveness and has reduced students (as well as teachers and schools) to ‘auditable commodi- ties’, so they may be efficiently held to account and assessed against quantifiable standards of ‘success’ (see Ball, 2003). Students in today’s classrooms are children of the market, that is to say, they are crafting their identities and making sense of their educational and employ – ment experiences and choices within the context of neoliberal imperatives. Given that these imperatives have been hegemonic in shaping social relations in contexts such as England for approximately 30 years, they are seen by the current generation of students as natural or normal (see nairn & Higgins, 2007; O’flynn & Petersen, 2007; wilkins, 2012a, 2012b ). within these imperatives, contemporary students are living a ‘performative’ and entrepre – neurial existence of calculation that involves organising themselves in response to targets, indicators and evaluations (Ball, 2003; Rose, 1989). They are ‘commodified’ both in their ability level and their capacity to add value to, or enhance, their own and their school’s reputation, and in their future capacity to contribute to society through the job market. Success in this climate involves being enterprising and competitive. It involves students achieving on the measures of success that ‘count’ (e.g. achieving a successful learner identity through high performance on standardised academic tests and achieving a successful worker identity— that is, being economically successful—through attaining the appropriate credentialing from education) (nairn & Higgins, 2007). All this is possible through working hard and har – nessing individual abilities and talents (see McLeod, 2000; nairn & Higgins, 2007). Gaining positional advantage through hard work is, of course, a central platform of neoliberal dis- course obfuscating the reality that such advantage is generally only available to class and race privileged groups with distinctly gendered effects (see McLeod, 2000; nairn & Higgins, 2007; walkerdine et al., 2001). This then is the ideal neoliberal subject; one who actively and purposefully crafts their identity to be worthy against these parameters of success. Such crafting involves much work on the self in terms of developing skills and engaging in activities that add ‘value’ and that lead to self enhancement (see Apple, 2001; Ball, 2003; davies & Bansel, 2007; f rancis, Skelton & Read, 2009; O’f lynn & Petersen, 2007; Rose, 1989). f or students this invariably means practising for tests or engaging in extra tuition to enhance academic attainment. Operating within these neoliberal discourses can offer possibilities for creating a ‘trium- phant [student] self ’ who is outstanding and above average (see Ball, 2003; w ilkins, 2012a). However, as we can clearly see from Rebecca’s comments about ‘bad perfectionism’, it can also lead to ‘ontological insecurity’; a sense of uncertainty, dissatisfaction and guilt about whether one is doing enough, doing the right thing, or doing as much or as well as others 110 A. KEddIE (Ball, 2003; walkerdine et al., 2001). This insecurity is a highly individualised and personal process. The individualism within neoliberal discourses locates responsibility for educational success and failure with the student— as a matter of free will or choice (see wilkins, 2012a, 2012b; Youdell, 2004). According to Olmedo (2014, p. 583), ‘responsibility and duty are two key aspects in the new moral agency brought in’ by these discourses. The significance of these aspects is outlined by Shamir (2008, p. 4) when he states: ‘while obedience [was] the practical master-key of top-down bureaucracies, responsibility is the practical master-key’ of new governance. Referred to as neoliberal responsibilisation (a mechanism of neoliberal governmentality, f oucault, 1991), this is a form of governance that can be seen as position- ing students as: … autonomous, self-determined and self-sustaining subjects whose moral quality is based on the fact that they rationally assess the costs and benefits of a certain act as opposed to other alternative acts. As the choice of options for action is, or so the neo-liberal notion of rationality would have it, the expression of free will on the basis of a self-determined decision, the conse – quences of the action are borne by the subject alone, who is also solely responsible for them. (Lemke in Shamir, 2008, pp. 7–8) It is against this backdrop that this paper foregrounds the voices of five primary school students in Years 5 and 6. The children, ‘Lucien’, ‘Adam’, ‘Christopher’, ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Sophia’ are all high achievers who are very invested in doing well in school and in life within the parameters of neoliberalism. The focus in this paper is on the ways in which neoliberal dis- courses of performativity and individual responsibilisation permeate their talk in relation to their understandings of education and their future, and their worth and value as students. The paper makes an important contribution to research in this area in highlighting the ways in which neoliberal discourses have taken hold of the lives of young people; how they have become naturalised and taken-for-granted in what counts as being a good student and a good citizen (davies & Petersen, 2005; McLeod, 2000; O’flynn & Petersen, 2007; Thompson, 2010; w ilkins, 2012a, 2012b; Youdell, 2004). Given the clear costs of these discourses in their production of individualism, competitiveness and anxiety, the paper provides further warrant for finding ways to support students to identify, disrupt and think beyond them. Research context and processes The data presented in this paper derive from a broader study concerned with examining issues of social justice, cultural diversity and schooling in three English schools. One of these schools was ‘Saffron’ Primary. Saffron is located on the edge of a class-privileged area in outer London. It is close to a social housing estate and a women’s refuge and caters to an inter – esting diversity of students. Approximately half of the student body of 300 is white (Anglo) middle class, while the remaining half is from highly diverse and generally less-privileged backgrounds. The proportion of students at the school assessed as eligible for f ree School Meals and as having special education needs is higher than the national average. Such circumstances, as the Head Teacher ‘Sally’ noted, meant that her school is not a ‘first choice’ school in the area and thus is ‘never full’. However, the school is well regarded—its current Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) rating is ‘Good’. The study’s broader concerns with social justice led to a focus on matters of accountability and equity at each of the three schools. At Saffron, as with the other schools (see Keddie, 2013, 2014), this focus led to exam – ining administrators’, teachers’ and students’ views about external modes of accountability OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 111 and their various impacts on students and, in particular, the regimes of external high stakes testing such as SATs (Standardised Achievement Tests) and Ofsted inspections. In this paper, the focus is on students’ views of education and their sense of identity within the priorities of these broader modes of accountability. Certainly, as with most schools, Saffron had taken on board the competition embedded in this culture despite clear resistance from the Head Teacher, as she explained: … we’ve set up this competitive culture just generally, you know, we signed up to that … what – ever we’ve tried as a school to counter it, you know, we are saying, ‘you need to be competing with each other, you need to get to this level because if you don’t you will end up in sink groups in secondary school, and you won’t get decent jobs!’ we hear ourselves saying it. I’m horrified I hear myself saying that … you know, we’re perpetuating that whole thing … Sally expressed particular concern about how this culture was ‘forcing failure’ on children in her school who could not measure up to the academic standards expected by external bodies like Ofsted. She was very critical of the narrow priorities of the testing culture and the messages they were sending her students about what counts in terms of education. As her comments above indicate, nonetheless, she felt compelled to promote the government’s agenda in terms of encouraging a ‘competitive culture’. Sally’s concerns about these mes- sages framed my interviews with eight Year 5 and eight Year 6 students who were selected to participate in the research as they reflected the particular demographics of the school (i.e. approximately half of the students interviewed were from white middle class backgrounds, while half were from more diverse backgrounds). The five children whose voices feature in this paper are all very high achievers. Their stories are presented here because they provide insight into how neoliberal discourses of performativity have taken hold of students’ ways of thinking about and valuing themselves and others; how they have come to constitute what counts as a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ life (see davies & Petersen, 2005; O’f lynn & Petersen, 2007). As noted earlier, all young people might now be seen as children of the market (nairn & Higgins, 2007) and, in this sense, such discourses might seem natural and inevitable to them. However, it is contended in this paper, consistent with similar research (see walkerdine et al., 2001), that investment in these discourses varies, and that these children’s status as high achievers (and generally class-privileged) led to a strong investment in these discourses. The children Lucien, Adam and Rebecca are in Year 6 at Saffron while Christopher and Sophia are in Year 5. All of the students have been at the school since ‘nursery’ (age four/five). Lucien, Adam, Rebecca and Sophia are all from middle-class backgrounds while Christopher is from a low socio-economic background. Although all of the students were born in the UK, they are from varying ethno-European heritages; for example, Lucien and Sophia’s parental heritage is Italian, while Adam, Rebecca and Christopher’s parents are from the UK. The students articulated high aspirations for their future. Lucien, Adam and Christopher wanted to be pro – fessional sportsmen (although they expressed awareness that they would need a ‘back-up’ profession, like a doctor), Rebecca wanted to attend Oxford or Cambridge and get a ‘good degree’ but hadn’t decided on what sort of degree, while Sophia wanted a future in the per – forming arts because she is passionate about singing, acting and writing. All of the children seemed to have fairly privileged home lives in terms of economic and social/familial support apart from Christopher, whose mother became disabled in 2013 through a fall, forcing her 112 A. KEddIE to leave her paid work, and whose father, in his words, ‘isn’t able to find work at the moment because he has a criminal record’. within the context of a two-month period of regular classroom and playground obser – vations at the school and getting to know these students informally, I interviewed Lucien, Adam, Rebecca, Christopher and Sophia on one occasion each (as I did with all of the students who participated in the study). These interviews lasted approximately one hour. I tried to create an informal and friendly environment that foregrounded what the students wished to talk about. following questions to elicit background information, I prompted the students to talk about their aspirations for the future, their thoughts about the importance of educa- tion, their achievements at school and beyond school, doing well at school, their views on tests and exams, and their thoughts about the school including teaching and teachers, the general environment and other students. The data were analysed in light of the literature reviewed earlier drawing on the conceptual tools of performativity and neoliberal respon- sibilisation. notions of performativity and neoliberal responsibilisation were particularly evident in how the five children articulated their views of the significance of education and their ability and reputation as students. while the voices of the broader cohort of interview – ees are briefly mentioned in relation to views about the significance of education, the key emphasis is on the views of Lucien, Adam, Rebecca, Christopher and Sophia. Significance of education All of the children expressed a keen awareness of the significance of education to their future capacity to take up the material benefits of the social world. They were particularly aware of the relationship between education and employment credentialling (see Keddie, 2012; Mills & Gale, 2010). while some identified the sort of vocation they would like to take up, such as teacher, barrister and doctor, most of the children simply associated a good education with the capacity to get a good job and earn a good income. ‘Akume’ (Year 6), for example, stated that education will ‘help you get a better future’ and that doing well in college would help you get a job quicker; ‘Elizabeth’ (Year 5) that it would get her ‘a good job’ and ‘a good future’; and ‘Christina’ (Year 6) that education and studying hard were necessary ‘if you want a very good job’ so that you can ‘be independent and get what you want’. Similarly ‘Samantha’ (Year 5) stated that studying hard and getting a good education would ‘get you money and set you up for life’ and Christopher (Year 5), that a good education would lead to independ- ence and ‘getting somewhere big in life’ with ‘lots of money’ and a ‘good job’. f or ‘Annie’ (Year 5) working hard at school, at ‘your exams and stuff ’ would also lead to a good job and for Adam (Year 6) a good education was about being ‘clever academically’, as he bluntly stated ‘… to be honest … [if you’re] not clever academically [you] won’t have a good job when [you’re] older which means [your] life is over basically’. This concern that not doing well at school would lead to a degraded future lifestyle was evident for many of the students. f or ‘danielle’ (Year 5), ‘getting good grades’ meant that she would not have to be a waitress like her cousins ‘who didn’t do very well at school’. danielle also worried that if she didn’t do well in education she wouldn’t have enough ‘money from her job’ to ‘look after’ her children. Similarly, Annie (Year 5) spoke of a good education pro – tecting her from having to take up menial jobs, as she stated: ‘you wouldn’t want to be a rubbish man picking up stuff from the streets’. f or ‘Bronte’ (Year 6) a good education was about affording her more opportunities and a better life than her parents who in her words OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 113 had ‘a rough background growing up’ because they had left school early and for ‘Johnathon’ (Year 5), it was about being able to afford decent housing and avoid ‘liv[ing] on the streets’. These children’s remarks reflect the social reality that aligns level of educational achieve – ment with level of capacity to take advantage of the economic and material benefits of the social world (see Keddie, 2012). The discourses of performative neoliberalism permeate the children’s talk about education as a vehicle to job success and economic security; indeed a good education and a good job are imperative, not only in signifying one’s worth and value as a good citizen, but to ensuring survival (see davies, 2005; Rose, 1999). The overwhelming priority here is on earning capacity and economic gain as a matter of attaining a level of social status with individualism and competition necessarily driving this agenda. High social status along these lines, for these children, is what constitutes the ‘good life’ (see O’f lynn & Petersen, 2007). Consistent with Rose (1999; see also Apple, 2001), what we see emerg- ing here (and explored in more depth below) are these children positioning themselves as strategising entrepreneurs who are calculated and deliberate in their endeavours to ‘better’ themselves (davies & Bansel, 2007; O’f lynn & Petersen, 2007; Shamir, 2008; Youdell, 2004). Such a positioning was apparent in how the children described their academic ability and reputation as students. The children spoke about this aspect of their lives in distinctly calculated ways; measuring, comparing and evaluating their worth within the context of fields of external judgements such as SATs (Ball, 2003). However, for the high achieving children, Lucien, Adam, Christopher, Rebecca and Sophia, this sense of performativity was particularly heightened. It was key to these students marking out and ensuring that they retain their identities as successful students – the ‘cleverest’ students who are better than others. drawing on the notions of performativity and neoliberal responsibilisation outlined earlier, the following provides an account of these high achieving students’ views of their academic ability and reputation. Academic ability and reputation Lucien informed me that he was in the ‘top group’ for most of his subjects. He expressed pleasure at this positioning, stating it gave him a ‘sense of achievement’. He mentioned that he did not mind the work involved in maintaining this position, for example, doing the ‘loads of practice tests’ in the ‘run up to the SATs’. Lucien was particularly proud to be doing Level 6 SATs preparation because he was aware that such preparation was only for ‘excep – tional’ students. This involved him and other high achieving students being ‘taken out of playtimes and lunchtimes to do practice tests … [and] stop[ping] normal lessons to go to a room downstairs’. He spoke of himself and his friends ‘getting really excited’ doing the Level 6 tests because they ‘had achieved so much’. Lucien’s investment in doing well and being on top was clearly evident in the jealousy he noted towards his friend ‘Sam’ who was selected to prepare for more of these Level 6 tests than Lucien. Such investment was also apparent in the way Lucien spoke of his competition with Sam in the Junior Maths Challenge, which he described as ‘like a kids’ world Cup’, and his strong level of awareness of his ability rank in relation to other students evident in his ‘Silver’ award: [Sam] got uh best in the school for the Junior Maths Challenge. He got first in the school but, they uh, I think 6 people got first, about 10 people got second and 2 people got third so we were all in the top, probably about 50% of about 240,000 across the country, across the uh, United 114 A. KEddIE Kingdom … apparently I was one mark away from Gold, so in the top 6%, Silver is in the next 19% and then I think Bronze is in the next 21%. Christopher was equally aware of, and invested in maintaining, his position and reputation as a high achieving student. His pleasure was associated with being ‘above the national average’ in all his classes. He proudly noted that he had a ‘reading age of a 22 year old … could do 25 words [at age] 1’ and had ‘read at least 300 big books in [his] lifetime’, including ‘all the Harry Potter books [twice]’. He was also keen to tell me about his ‘massive’ improvements over his last few years at the school with ‘really, really good’ school reports and an ‘A+ in 12 subjects’ the previous year. Christopher was concerned to maintain this high level of achievement, as he said, ‘I don’t want to go down grades because that’s bad. I want to go up as far as I can until I get to the top grade’. As with Lucien, competition and a strong level of awareness of his ability positioning in comparison to others was central to such concerns. Also central was a sense of strategising in terms of what it would take to maintain his position and reputation as the ‘clever kid’, as he said: ‘I’m one of the cleverest kids in my class [but] there’s a lot of people who are really, really clever and really, really smart’. Christopher spoke of being in competition with a ‘few kids in [his] class, the clever ones’. He explained that it was important that he ‘get proper ground away from them … to be at least a little bit of a gap ahead of a few of them’ just in case he was tired or having a bad day so that he could be sure that he could maintain his position ‘above the rest’. Adam spoke in similarly candid and invested ways about his cleverness, as he stated in relation to his twin brother (at the same school), ‘my brother is very very clever but not that sporty whereas I’m very clever, I’m very clever but quite sporty as well’. Adam attributed much of his academic achievement to his individual desire to be clever and his efforts to work hard. His high expectations of himself were clear when he stated: ‘If I get a level that I know I can do better than, I’m like dammit you know, “come on Adam I should have done better”’. Comparing himself with other children who weren’t as clever, he noted: … to be honest … the children that aren’t as clever, they don’t really mind because they don’t really see that it’s, kind of good to be clever … they know that they can, I think [but] they don’t realise in their mind that um … they need to work harder, they need to be good at sitting tests and all that, they just aren’t … aware of what life is really … they’ll hopefully realise that in secondary school, and then they know that they’re a bit behind and they can hopefully work harder … f or Adam, these children were not ‘as bothered’ as he was in terms of doing well. Like Adam, Rebecca was also concerned about doing well and very aware of her superior cleverness in comparison to other children in her class. She also informed me, like Lucien, that she was in the ‘top group’ for everything, although she presented this information with a rather cynical caveat: ‘yeah [well], the teachers don’t tell us but you can kind of tell when different reading books are 1) A Dictatorship from Einstein and 2) A Dog called Binky’. Evidence of Rebecca’s cleverness was clear to her because she found the SATs tests easy, as she explained: ‘I find them easy … on most of the Level 5 tests and on some of the Level 6 tests, I had about 20 minutes at the end where I’d completely done it, checked through and had nothing to do’. However, like Christopher, she also expressed anxiety about ensuring that she maintain her reputation as a Level 6 student evident in her knowledge of, and strategising in relation to, achieving on these tests: … if I don’t answer a question or I can’t find the answer to a question I do think ‘what if this is the difference between a Level 5 and a Level 6, what if this is the difference between my levels?’ OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 115 um … like, for the Level 5s you’re allowed to drop like 15 marks … then it goes down to Level 4 … and then, for the Level 6 they’re harder and if you drop 10 marks I think then you’re, then you don’t get a Level 6. when expressing these anxieties, as noted in the beginning of this paper, Rebecca described herself as a ‘really bad perfectionist’—as someone who was never satisfied with her perfor – mance, no matter how good. Her reference to her performance in the Junior Maths Challenge, i.e., her dissatisfaction with her Bronze medal was, for her, an illustration of this ‘bad perfec- tionism’ and her view that, while she appreciated her high performance, she ends up thinking ‘about all the stuff [she] could have done better’. Like the other children, Sophia was also in the top group for all her subjects and invested much energy into performing well at school. f or Sophia, being in the top group was impor- tant because: … it’s the top who are considered the most intelligent and stuff, it’s the top who get big things in their life … it’s the top who get chosen for stuff like … team captain, school council [who] … get lots of opportunities more than the ones who … need more help. Sophia spoke of ‘quite liking tests’ because they were an opportunity for recognition of her ability and efforts. They were a mechanism that demonstrated her improvement and gave her a sense of achievement, as she explained: I quite like tests … it’s really a time to think ‘okay if I get this right I might be able to move up’ … if you get one level ahead [it] would be a big success. I quite like also … the idea that people can see what you can do like it gets passed onto your next teacher … and it gets kept in a record … you can just look back and say, ‘I did that and that … last year … I got B, now I’ve got B+, oh look, now I’ve got an A’, it’s quite good. Like some of the others, Sophia also expressed a sense of anxiety about maintaining her reputation as a clever student. Her anxiety was associated with the extra tuition she needed to keep up this reputation and whether or not she was trying hard enough: I do try hard but I hope it’s hard enough … I still get As but the thing is … I’m still not amazing. The thing is now I’m having tuitions [for] Maths and Science … sometimes I wonder if, I really want to be one of the top students … I don’t think … I don’t put enough pressure on myself, that’s the point. I don’t push myself as I could do. Performativity and neoliberal responsibilisation Along the lines of research conducted by McLeod and Yates (2006, p. 52), these children understand a ‘good’ student as one ‘who is good at doing what examinations require; who applies him or herself to the necessary study to succeed; and who does in fact succeed’. Clearly framing this understanding of the ‘good’ student are discourses of neoliberal per – formativity (see Ball, 2003; Thompson, 2010; wilkins, 2012a, 2012b). These children are organising themselves in ‘response to targets, indicators and evaluations’; they are living ‘an existence of calculation’ (Ball, 2003, p. 215). The targets that matter in this existence are externally prescribed in the form of classroom ability setting (streaming) and standard- ised tests—these are the fields of judgement that for these students seem to encapsulate and represent their worth and value (Ball, 2003). High achievement within these fields is clearly important to all of the students, with all of them very invested in their recognition as ‘top’ ability group performers. f or Lucien, high achievement means being ‘exceptional’, for Christopher and Adam it means being recognised as the cleverest kids in their class and for 116 A. KEddIE Sophia, it means ‘being considered intelligent’, ‘being chosen for stuff ’ and ‘get[ting] lots of opportunities’. Performing well in classroom tests, SATs and Maths competitions, for these children means that they are successful; it marks out their difference to others; their above average and outstanding status (see Ball, 2003; w ilkins, 2012a). Maintaining this identity as outstanding, however, requires much effort and calculation and is oftentimes a fraught process. As the children’s remarks illustrate, it requires intensive work on the self (d ean, 1995; Rose, 1999), for example, ‘loads of practice tests’ (Lucien), extra reading (Christopher) and tuition (Sophia), having very high expectations, ‘working harder’ than others and being tough on yourself (Adam). It also requires detailed knowledge of the ‘game’, i.e. what it takes to succeed on the external fields that count (such as SATs). Rebecca, for instance, is acutely aware of the marks required to achieve at Level 6 as opposed to Level 5 or 4. Adam similarly knows that being ‘good at sitting tests’ is crucial to being seen as a suc – cessful student. These children actively comply with the demands of performativity through ‘playing the game’ (Ball, 2003; Macf arlane, 2015). we can see here that the efforts involved in playing this game well reflect what Ball (2003) describes as a spectacle, a ‘fabrication’ in that these students are deliberately crafting a particular representation or version of themselves for a specific purpose and circumstance. It is produced to look good on the parameters that ‘count’. However, the active and unquestioning take up of these performative demands also indicates their taken-for-grantedness. They are, indeed, children of the market; members of a neoliberal generation crafting their identities within this social order’s seemingly natural and normal expectations and rationalities (see nairn & Higgins, 2007; Thompson, 2010; wilkins, 2012a). Along similar lines to the middle class young women in walkerdine et al.’s work (2001), these children appear to have mastered the neoliberal repertoires of the self that construct high academic achievement and exceptional performance as the ‘norm’. Central to mastering these repertoires is a strong investment in competition. The chil- dren seem to revel in this component of their enterprising identities not least because as ‘top group’ performers they receive much positive recognition from their school and peers. Investment in competition is particularly apparent in the children’s detailed awareness of their ability ranking in relation to others. f or Christopher, his reading age of 22 sets him well above his peers, for Rebecca her superior cleverness is clear because she finds the SATs tests easier than most of her fellow students and for Lucien, evidence that he is better than most is apparent in his achievement in the Junior Maths Challenge. Lucien’s characterisation of this challenge as like a ‘kids’ world Cup’ and the detailed knowledge he offers in relation to the statistics involved in ranking student performance within the categories of Gold, Silver and Bronze (like Rebecca’s knowledge of the marks required to attain different levels of achievement in the SATs tests) illustrates a strong investment in competition and, more specifically, being ‘better’ than others. Indeed, Lucien admits that he is jealous of those who are recognised as better than him. These children are working as enterprising individuals within the external parameters of achievement that matter at their school (see O’f lynn & Peterson, 2007; wilkins, 2012a). This is a highly strategic, active and continuous endeavour of calculation, measurement and comparison towards building and developing a self that is productive, ‘successful’ and better than others (see Apple, 2001; O’f lynn & Peterson, 2007; w ilkins, 2012a; Youdell, 2004). Given the children’s crafting of themselves along these enterprising and individualistic lines, it is not surprising that their ways of thinking about their achievement and success reflect a strong sense of neoliberal responsibilisation (Rose, 1999; Shamir, 2008; w ilkins, OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 117 2012a; Youdell, 2004). As noted earlier, neoliberal responsibilisation is a mechanism of neolib – eral governmentality (f oucault, 1991) that, within the sphere of education, positions students as self-determining and self-sustaining subjects whose choices are rational expressions of free will, the consequences of which they solely bear and are responsible for (see Shamir, 2008). Certainly, it seems that all of the children see themselves as autonomous in the way that they refer to their academic position as ‘top’ performers and in their descriptions of their efforts to attain this position. It does appear that the children see their success as a self-de – termined decision that they are solely responsible for. Lucien, for example, recognises and welcomes the extra work involved in being ‘exceptional’ and Sophia accepts that she needs extra tuition to maintain her success. The notion of neoliberal responsibilisation is especially clear in Adam’s comments. He attributes his success and cleverness to individual desire and effort in terms of knowing (or being ‘bothered’ to know) what it takes to succeed and push- ing himself toward that goal. As he states, ‘if I get a level that I know I can do better than, I’m like dammit you know, “come on Adam I should have done better”’. Conversely, he indicates that children who ‘aren’t as clever … don’t really see that it’s … good to be clever [and] don’t realise that they need to work harder’ and be more ‘aware of what life is’ about. In this respect, he views their underperformance as a matter of them not trying hard enough and not being bothered enough to do well. Thus, along the lines of neoliberal responsibilisation, he positions these less clever children’s underperformance as their responsibility and choice, just as he positions his high performance as his responsibility and choice. Underperformance and high performance are, in his view, expressions of free will on the basis of self-determined decisions (see nairn & Higgins, 2007; w ilkins, 2012b; Youdell, 2004). It is clear that within the ‘labyrinth of performativity’, these children are creating identities of success; they are crafting ‘triumphant selves’ (Ball, 2003). However, such crafting is clearly not without anxiety and inner conflict. Pursuing and maintaining academic excellence and improvement for these children is marred by ontological insecurity: uncertainty, guilt and dissatisfaction about whether they are doing enough or as well as others (Ball, 2003; O’f lynn & Peterson, 2007; walkerdine et al., 2001). Christopher’s anxiety about maintaining his status as the clever kid is reflected in his strategising to be operating at a level enough advanced from his closest competition that he will outperform them even on his ‘tired’ or bad days. This is a type of insurance policy that, for Christopher, seems to manage his anxiety or insecurity about potentially underperforming. Rebecca attempts to manage the anxiety associated with potentially underperforming by arming herself with detailed knowledge about the marks associated with each SATs Level and the exact number of marks that will signify a drop in grading. Her ontological insecurity is particularly pronounced in her bad perfectionism and never being satisfied with her achievement. f or Rebecca, however triumphant the discourses of performativity allow her to be, it will never be quite good enough. Indeed, such discourses can be seen as encouraging the bad perfectionism she describes that will always leave her dissatisfied and wanting to be more or better (see O’f lynn & Peterson, 2007; walkerdine et al., 2001). Sophia also expresses self-doubt and anxiety about maintaining her academic excellence. Even though she receives high grades, she describes herself as ‘not amazing’ because she requires extra tuition. Thus she seems to present her high performance as somewhat fraudulent. She might ‘look good’ on paper but this is a version of herself that she does not recognise (Ball, 2003). She is, moreover, uncertain about whether she wants to be a ‘top student’, her self-doubt about this seemingly fraudulent identity is evident in her view 118 A. KEddIE (perhaps guilt) that she doesn’t put enough pressure on herself to perhaps deserve such status (see O’f lynn & Petersen, 2007; walkerdine et al., 2001). Consistent with the notion of neoliberal responsibilisation, these anxieties about performance (about not doing enough, or measuring up) seem to be internalised; they are seen as matters of personal responsibility. Concluding discussion The sense of performativity and responsibilisation in these children’s stories would be far from unfamiliar to many educators and education researchers. Indeed, the competition around ability, testing and performance evident in these stories is nothing new to the sphere of ‘modern’ schooling as key research has illustrated (see Lacey, 1970). w ilkins (2012b, p. 768) argues, however that the: … rise of neoliberal concerns and prerogatives in the realm of education has provisionally secured the predominance and continuation of the sovereign character of competitive behav – iour in classroom settings. It is important then to continue to highlight and find new ways of thinking through and theorising the constitutive effects of these discourses in shaping and governing students’ thoughts about themselves and others. Certainly, there are obvious limitations methodo – logically in this paper in its featuring of children’s self-reflections drawn from a small corpus of interviews. nonetheless, the stories presented here are compelling. They illustrate the ways in which neoliberal discourses continue to be naturalised and taken-for-granted in what counts as being a good student and a good citizen. w hile the focus in this paper was on five high achieving students within a broader cohort of 16, all of the children expressed distinct awareness of the relationship between education and employment credentialing. Indeed, a discourse of performative neoliberalism where education is positioned as the vehicle to job success and economic security seemed to encapsulate the children’s views of the significance of education. Educational achievement was seen as crucial to future economic and social advantage as was the competition and individualism driving efforts to attain this high status; as most of the children noted quite sim- ply, working or studying hard were key to getting a good education, a good job and a good future, the absence of which would mean a life of menial jobs or even living on the streets. for the high achieving students, Lucien, Adam, Christopher, Rebecca and Sophia, such competitive individualism in relation to carving out a sense of self worth and value as stu- dents was particularly salient. This was clear in how they spoke about their academic ability and reputation. The children’s ideas about what constitutes a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ student reflected the discourses of neoliberal performativity and responsibilisation. They organised themselves in response to targets, indicators and evaluations within the external measures of success at school that count, i.e. classroom ability setting/streaming and standardised academic tests and competitions. The children’s high performance on these indicators led to their reputation as ‘exceptional’ or the ‘cleverest’—the self-worth and value generated from this reputation reinforcing their investment in this existence of calculation. Consistent with the notion of neoliberal responsibilisation, this reputation or status was seen as a self-de – termined choice. Success, cleverness and the positional advantage these markers lead to, in this respect, were attributed to individual hard work and effort rather than, for example, broader structural advantages (be they economic, racial or gendered). OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 119 To be sure, marking out their difference as outstanding was in a sense hard work in terms of intensive work on the self. Certainly, it must be recognised that the children, as race and (generally) class privileged who enjoy strong familial support (except for Christopher), are more able to take up the successful student identities available within neoliberal discourses of performativity and responsibilisation than their less privileged peers. The background advantages of these students clearly support them in this respect. f or Christopher, the only working-class child in this group, there was greater intensity involved in this work on the self and by others on him to take up this identity. f rankly, it was harder work for him to mark out his difference as outstanding given the disadvantages of his home life. Such work on the self and on him by others was evident, for example, in Christopher’s participation in an anger management programme organised by the school to support him to deal with what he described as his ‘anger streak’ arising from some of the ‘difficulties in his life’ and the ‘tick chart’ associated with this programme that tracked improvement in his behaviour. In Christopher’s words, this programme ‘really helped’ him to do better at school. for all of the children then, it can be said that crafting and maintaining their identities as top performers required significant, although varying, degrees of effort and calculation— whether in the form of external programmes as with the case of Christopher or in the form of extra tuition as with some of the other students to ensure sustained high achievement and personal desire and commitment to succeed. It was also an oftentimes fraught or anx – ious experience even though the children actively and willingly took up the performative demands of this identity. The ontological insecurity reflected in Rebecca’s and Sophia’s sto – ries seemed to capture this anxiety. Rebecca’s bad perfectionism meant that she was never satisfied with her achievements, however outstanding, while Sophia’s need for extra tuition to achieve her outstanding grades meant, for her, that she was ‘not amazing’ and led to her questioning whether she was putting enough pressure on herself. Such heightened and personalised anxiety, self-doubt, dissatisfaction and guilt associated with academic ability and performance seem to resonate with the gendered dimensions of the ideal neoliberal female subject as outlined in other research (see McLeod & Yates, 2006; walkerdine et al., 2001). while these gendered dimensions were not a strong feature within the broader data set (potentially because the students in this set were not necessarily high academic achiev – ers), the stories of Rebecca and Sophia certainly gesture towards the ambivalence and com – plexity of femininities in this high-achieving space (see Renold & Allen, 2006; Ringrose, 2007). The stories in this paper do support the notion that today’s students are children of the market. They are crafting their identities and making sense of their educational and employment experiences and choices within the context of neoliberal imperatives that seem, to them, natural or normal (see nairn & Higgins, 2007; O’f lynn & Petersen, 2007; wilkins, 2012a). f or high achieving children like those in this paper, such discourses provide spaces of advantage, for the crafting of triumphant selves. while such discourses also produce anxiety, self-doubt and dissatisfaction, these students ‘fit into the coordinates of neoliberal performativity’ because they ‘militate against complacency, revere competitiveness, toler – ate precarity and evince flexibility’ ( wilkins, 2012a, p. 207). The broader reality, however, is that neoliberal discourses of performativity and individualism are creating ever increasing inequities and injustices (see Apple, 2001; w ilkins, 2012a). f or those students who are not as privileged as Lucien, Adam, Christopher, Rebecca and Sophia (in terms of background and ability), these discourses are, as Sally (the Head Teacher of Saffron) indicated earlier, ‘forcing failure’ on children who do not measure up to their narrow priorities and expectations. They 120 A. KEddIE are sending students very narrow messages about what counts in terms of being a good student and a good person (see McLeod & Yates, 2006; Thompson, 2010; Youdell, 2004). Certainly, as this paper has illustrated, these discourses force students to live an existence of calculation. They compel students to constantly measure themselves against a narrow vision of ideal studenthood and citizenship and to engage in competition, individualism, utility and pragmatism rather than collaboration, social responsibility, creativity and experi – mentation (see Thompson, 2010; wilkins, 2012a; Youdell 2004). The focus is clearly on targets (of achievement such as SATs) which, as many have argued (see O’neill, 2013), are highly ineffective measures of ‘success’ in education, not least because they have become disasso – ciated from educative goals. while broader structural reform and social policy will be requisite to genuinely desta- bilising the potency of neoliberal discourses within and beyond education, at the level of student experience, the poststructural work of scholars like Bronwyn davies (2000, 2005; davies & Petersen, 2005) remains instructive. As she argues, if new ways of thinking and being a student in the current climate are to be enabled, then students must be supported to identify the (restrictive or harmful) discourses through which they are spoken into, or speak themselves and others into, existence. Armed with knowledge about how they are constituted within and subjected by the neoliberal discourses of performativity, students can begin to question and transform them. davies further elaborates (2005, p. 13): w e must give to our students a doubled gaze, to enable them to become critically literate, to become citizens at once capable of adapting and becoming appropriate within the contexts in which they find themselves and as responsible citizens capable of critique; citizens who can understand the constitutive work that discourse does and who can work creatively, imagina- tively, politically, and with passion to break open the old where it is faulty and to envisage the new. Even more urgent is the task of giving them some personal tools for withstanding the worst effects of neoliberalism, for seeing both the pleasure and the danger of being drawn into it, for understanding the ways in which they are subjected by it. The children featured in this paper are clearly capable of adapting and becoming ‘appro – priate’, indeed highly successful students, within the context of their school. They are also clearly aware of the constitutive work on the self it takes to attain this reputation. There is, moreover, a real sense in the children’s talk of the ‘pleasures’ and ‘dangers’ involved in tak – ing up the identity of ‘top’ student as defined by external measures such as SATs. This is a strong basis from which to foster students’ critical thinking about the narrow vision of ideal studenthood and citizenship in which they are compelled to engage if they are to be seen as ‘successful’. Such critical thinking will be requisite to supporting children of the market to imagine creatively different ways of being that are less about competition, individualism and personal gain and more about collaboration, creativity and social responsibility. Acknowledgement The research reported in this paper was funded by the Australian Research Council, f uture fellowship Scheme (fT100100688). Notes on contributor Amanda Keddie is a researcher and teacher in the School of Education at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her published work examines the broad gamut of schooling processes, practices and OxfORd REvIEw Of EdUCATIOn 121 conditions that can impact on the pursuit of social justice in schools including student identities, teacher identities, pedagogy, curriculum, leadership, school structures, policy agendas and socio-po – litical trends.  References Apple, M. (2001). Educating the ‘right’ way: Markets, standards and inequality. new York, nY: Routledgef almer. Ball, S. J. (2003). The teacher’s soul and the terrors of performativity. Journal of Education Policy, 18, 215–228. davies, B. (2000). A body of writing 1990–1999. new York, n Y: AltaMira Press. davies, B. (2005). The (im)possibility of intellectual work in neoliberal regimes. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 26, 1–14. davies, B., & Bansel, P. (2007). neoliberalism and education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20, 247–259. davies, B., & Petersen, E. B. (2005). Intellectual workers (un)doing neoliberal discourse. International Journal of Critical Psychology, 13, 32–54. d ean, M. (1995). Governing the unemployed self in an active society. Economy and Society, 24, 559–583. f oucault, M. (1991). Governmentality. In G. Burchill, C. Gordon, & P. Miller (Eds.), The Foucault effect: Studies in governmentality (pp. 87–104). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. francis, B., Skelton, C., & Read, B. (2009). The simultaneous production of educational achievement and popularity: How do some pupils accomplish it? British Educational Research Journal, 36, 317–340. Keddie, A. (2012). Educating for diversity and social justice. new York, n Y: Routledge. Keddie, A. (2013). Thriving amid the performative demands of the contemporary audit culture: A matter of school context. Journal of Education Policy, 28, 750–766. Keddie, A. (2014). ‘It’s like Spiderman … with great power comes great responsibility’: School autonomy and the audit culture. School Leadership and Management, 34, 502–517. Lacey, C. (1970). Hightown Grammar: The school as a social system. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Leys, C. (2003). Market-driven politics: Neoliberal democracy and the public interest. new York, n Y: verso. Macfarlane, B. (2015). Student performativity in higher education: Converting learning as a private space into a public performance. Higher Education Research & Development, 34, 338–350. McLeod, J. (2000). Subjectivity and schooling in a longitudinal study of secondary students. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 21, 501–521. McLeod, J., & Yates, L. (2006). Making modern lives: Subjectivity, schooling and social change. Albany, n Y: State University of new York Press. Mills, C., & Gale, T. (2010). Schooling in disadvantaged communities. new York, n Y: Springer. nairn, K., & Higgins, J. (2007). new Zealand’s neoliberal generation: Tracing discourses of economic (ir) rationality. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20, 261–281. O’f lynn, G., & Petersen, E. (2007). The ‘good life’ and the ‘rich portfolio’: Young women, schooling and neoliberal subjectification. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28, 459–472. Olmedo, A. (2014). f rom England with love. ARK, heterarchies and global ‘philanthropic governance’. Journal of Education Policy, 29, 575–597. O’neill, O. (2013). Intelligent accountability in education. Oxford Review of Education, 39, 4–16. Renold, E., & Allan. A. (2006). Bright and beautiful: High achieving girls, ambivalent femininities, and the feminization of success in the primary school. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education, 27, 457–473. Ringrose, J. (2007). Successful girls? Complicating post-feminist, neoliberal discourses of educational achievement and gender equality. Gender and Education, 19, 471–489. Rose, n. (1989). Governing the soul: The shaping of the private self. London: Routledge. Rose, n. (1999). Powers of freedom: Reframing political thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Shamir, R. (2008). The age of responsibilization: on market-embedded morality. Economy and Society, 37, 1–19. 122 A. KEddIE Thompson, G. (2010). Acting, accidents and performativity: Challenging the hegemonic good student in secondary schools. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31, 413–430. w alkerdine, v., Lucey, H., & Melody, J. (2001). Growing up girls: Psychosocial explorations of gender and class. London: Palgrave. w ilkins, A. (2012a). The spectre of neoliberalism: Pedagogy, gender and the construction of learner identities. Critical Studies in Education, 53, 197–210. w ilkins, A. (2012b ). Push and pull in the classroom: Competition, gender and the neoliberal subject. Gender and Education, 24, 765–781. Youdell, d . (2004). Engineering school markets, constituting schools and subjectivating students: The bureaucratic, institutional and classroom dimensions of educational triage. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 19, 407–431.
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There are 6 articles to read and to take notes on. These mainly focus on education, motivation, and psychology. Please ensure plagiarism free. Remember to follow all instructions well and carefully.
Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=cdis20 Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education ISSN: 0159-6306 (Print) 1469-3739 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cdis20 Crafting the normative subject: queerying the politics of race in the New Zealand Health education classroom Kathleen Quinlivan, Mary Lou Rasmussen, Clive Aspin, Louisa Allen & Fida Sanjakdar To cite this article: Kathleen Quinlivan, Mary Lou Rasmussen, Clive Aspin, Louisa Allen & Fida Sanjakdar (2014) Crafting the normative subject: queerying the politics of race in the New Zealand Health education classroom, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35:3, 393-404, DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2014.888843 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2014.888843 Published online: 26 Feb 2014.Submit your article to this journal Article views: 1644View related articles View Crossmark dataCiting articles: 2 View citing articles Crafting the normative subject: queerying the politics of race in the New Zealand Health education classroom Kathleen Quinlivan a*, Mary Lou Rasmussen b, Clive Aspin c, Louisa Allen dand Fida Sanjakdar b aSchool of Educational Studies and Leadership, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; bFaculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; cPoche Centre for Indigenous Health, University of Sydney, Darlington, NSW, Australia; dFaculty of Education, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand This article explores the potential of queering as a mode of critique by problematising the ways in which liberal politics of race shape normative understandings of health in a high school classroom. Drawing on findings from an Australian and New Zealand (NZ) research project designed to respond to religious and cultural difference in school-based sexuality education programmes, we critically queer how the Māori concept ofhauorais deployed in the intended and operational NZ Health curriculum to shape the raced subject. Despite the best intentions of curriculum developers and classroom teachers to utilise Māori ways of knowing to meet their obligations within a bicultural nation, we argue that the notion ofhauorais domesticated by being aligned with normalising individualistic notions of well-being that reflect the Eurocentric neoliberal individual enterprise subject. Palatable notions of Māori epistemologies as cultural artefacts and iconography drive that‘inclusion’. The‘cunning politic’of (bicultural) recognition legitimates Māori ways of knowing in ways which privilege whiteness–reproducing rather than disrupting networks of power and dumbing down Māori epistemologies. Keywords:queer theory; Māori epistemologies; race; school-based health education; New Zealand how does one think the relationship between power and obligation, rather than retreat into one’s identity? How does one inhabit these more awkward worlds of obligation and analyze the differentials of power shooting through them? The reflexive gesture seems radically insufficient for this analysis, for the task of this analysis isn’t to think about oneself or one’s personal history. It is to think about how to remain in the obligations that we find ourselves responding to and at the same time understand the arts of governance that disrupt and contain and redirect these immanent modes of obligation. (Di Fuscia,2010, p. 93) Introduction In this paper, we utilise queering as a mode of critique to interrogate the ways in which the politics of liberal recognition (Povinelli,2002,2006) problematically shape how health education in New Zealand (NZ) schools responds to its bicultural obligations. We utilise queer theory’s orientations to problematise, confound and provoke notions of normalcy to engage with normative constructions of race as they are enacted in late *Corresponding author. Email:[email protected] Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education,2014 Vol. 35, No. 3, 393–404, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2014.888843 © 2014 Taylor & Francis liberalism. Research findings from a case study on religious and cultural differences in school-based sexuality education are drawn on to problematise how the‘cunning of recognition’(Povinelli,2002) shapes school-based health education’s responses to biculturalism. The deployment of the Māori concept ofhauorain both the intended and operational NZ Health curricula (Ministry of Education,1999) is critically engaged. Findings from our study show that cultural, rather than epistemological, orientations underpin the deployment ofhauora, both in the development of classroom resources and in the operationalisation of the curriculum in the classroom. Within the context of a Year 10 Health classroom, we argue, understandings ofhauora are domesticated (Smith,2012) through being aligned with individualistic notions of well-being that reflect the individual enterprise subject (Povinelli,2002). In practice, the obligations of both curriculum developers and teachers to value Māori ways of knowing within a bicultural nation are trumped by discourses of individual self-maximisation. Problematically, the deployment ofhauoraat the levels of both the intended and the operational curricula privileges Eurocentric ways of knowing and devalues Māori epistemologies. This article begins by exploring how queer theoretical approaches can critically engage with how‘liberal recognition’(Povinelli,2002) shapes the conceptualisation and enactment of health education in late liberalism. Following that, we consider how school-based health education works as a site of normative liberal constructions for healthy subjects. Next, we outline the methodologies underpinning the case study which sat within a broader research project exploring the extent to which sexuality education can engage with racial, religious and cultural difference. Then, we draw on data from the Kauri College case study to critically engage with how the utilisation of the Māori concept ofhauora, interpreted through liberal politics of recognition (Povinelli,2002, 2006), shapes normative understandings of subjectivity for young people. We close by considering the affordances of queer radical deconstructionism and what Povinelli (2011) defines as negative critique. Problematising liberal recognition: putting queer theory to work on race in the Health education classroom A rich historical and contemporary tradition of queer theoretical work calls into question the desire for liberal recognition, and emphasises the application of queer theory to problematise a wide range of social normalisation (Sedgwick,1990; Warner,1993). In 1993, Michael Warner argued the need to‘make theory queer and not just have a theory about queers’when he advocated that: The preference for‘queer’represents, among other things, an aggressive impulse of generalization; it rejects a minoritizing logic of toleration or simple political interest- representation in favor of a more thorough resistance to regimes of the normal. (Warner, 1993, p. xxvi) In more recent times, Eng, Halberstam, and Muñoz (2005) and others (Halberstam,2008; Halley & Parker,2007) have built on the potential of Warner’s(1993) queer radical deconstructionism to oppose what they see as the assimilationist drive of liberal queer politics. Noting that normalising social processes are not confined to sexuality, Eng et al. (2005) argue that social classifications, such as gender, race and nationality, are constituted by a‘governing logic’(2005, p. 4) and require an urgent epistemological 394K. Quinlivanet al. intervention through queer theory. Interrogating the homonormative whiteness of much liberal queer scholarship (Halberstam,2005; Perez,2005), Eng et al. (2005) contends an important priority: At such a historical juncture, it is crucial to insist yet again on the capacity of queer studies to mobilize a broad social critique of race, gender, class, nationality and religion, as well as sexuality. (2005,p.4) Recent scholarship has taken up this call and explored the affordances of bringing queer theory together with a range of diverse theoretical frameworks, including anthropology, postcolonial theory, native studies, psychoanalysis, history and cultural studies, to utilise queer theory as a mode of critique that moves beyond the queer subject (Hawley,2001; Smith,2010). The production of normative constructions of race, sexualities and nationalisms within the macro-locus of late liberalism is a particular focus of this work (Ahmed,2010; Alexander,2005,2007; Berlant,1997,2011; Cruz-Malave & Manalan- san,2002; Gopinath,2005; Povinelli,2006; Puar,2007). Recent queer scholarship in education has explored the ways in which the production of sexualised, raced, gendered and classed subjectivities connect to broader national and transnational citizenship assemblages (Alexander,2007; Coloma,2006; Crowley & Rasmussen,2010; Meiners & Quinn,2010; Sykes,2011). Within educational contexts, Talburt (2009), Talburt and Rasmussen (2010) and others (Sykes,2011) acknowledge the challenges facing queer schooling research in untangling itself from the impossible ideals of liberalism. They advocate the usefulness of queer theory in interrogating the wily ways in which late liberalism is shaping normative subjectivities. This article speaks to a desire to move beyond the whiteness of queer theory (Halberstam,2005; Perez,2005) by critically queering normative liberal constructions of race in school-based health education. We argue that the liberal discourses of recognition underpinning the use of the Māori notion ofhauorain the Health and Physical Education in the NZ Curriculum (HPENZC; Ministry of Education,1999) shape understandings of race in ways that re-instantiate and privilege normative European ways of knowing. Working within remote Australian indigenous communities, anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli’s work shows how the liberal politics of recognition can arise within an ethos of multiculturalism that is ethically committed to engaging with difference. However, the form and effects of that recognition can impact negatively on lived indigenous lifeworlds. Povinelli (2002,2006,2011) traces how the liberal politics of recognition are underpinned by two dominant interrelated discursive forms of liberal discipline: the autological subject and the genealogical society. The autological subject refers to the multiple discourses and practices which invoke the autonomous and self-determining subject. The genealogical subject relates to discourses and practices which operate as constraints on the self-authorising subject through construing the subject as bound by obligations of social constraints and kinship inheritances. Povinelli argues that within late liberal nation states, self-making is always enclosed within these two discursive grids which, while appearing to value difference actually privileges normativity in ways: that animate and enflesh love, sociality and bodies, that operate as strategic manoeuvres of power whose purpose or result is to distribute life, goods, and values across social space, and that contribute to the hardiness of liberalism as a normative horizon. (2007, p. 570) It is the tensions between the autological subject and the genealogical society that, we argue, are evident in the utilisation of the Māori concept ofhauora, in the resources and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education395 their operationalisation in the Year 10 Health classroom at Kauri College. Despite the best intentions of non-Māori to meet its obligations as a bicultural nation by valuing Māori epistemologies in policy and practice–the genealogical society, these aspirations are trumped by the dominance of‘the fantasy of self-authorising freedom’(Povinelli, cited in Di Fuscia,2010, p. 91) that characterises the autological subject. Liberal discourses of recognition underpinning the use of the Māori notion ofhauorain HPENZC (Ministry of Education,1999) actually shape understandings of race in ways that re-instantiate and privilege normative European ways of knowing. The normative utilisation ofhauorain the Health curriculum can be seen as an attempt to craft healthy and happy citizens, particularly for the‘at risk’groups of low socio- economic status and Māori young women, who are framed as a problem that can be remedied through education in order to provide healthier life outcomes for these ‘disadvantaged’groups (New Zealand Families Commission,2012). However, the notion ofhauoraalso represents a genuine desire on the part of curriculum developers and policy analysts to demonstrate a respect for, and valuing of, Māori world views (Tasker, 2004). A close examination of the nature of the recognition that is made available through the deployment ofhauoraat the levels of both the intended and operational curricula raises some problematic questions. Next, we situate the Kauri College case study within the broader research project and outline the methodological approaches drawn on in the case study. Research methodologies The NZ Kauri College project was one of the four case studies undertaken in a two-year Australian Research Council Discovery Project Study (2011–2012) investigating how racial, cultural and religious diversities in sexuality education are addressed in two Australian and two NZ public schools (Rasmussen, Sanjakdar, Aspin, Allen, & Quinlivan,2011). Case studies were undertaken with sexuality education teachers and 13- to 14-year-old students in two schools in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, and in two suburban schools in the North and South Island of Aotearoa/NZ. The research team was comprised of two NZ and three Australian researchers of diverse religions, ethnicities and sexualities, one of whom is Māori. Kauri College is a decile 3, 1ethnically diverse suburban South Island high school. The demographic make-up of the school is NZ European/Pākehā 2(55%), Māori (30%), Pasifika (10%), Asian (3%) and Other Ethnicities (2%). We worked with nine (four young women and five young men) students in the high-ability Years 9 and 10 Health class representing a range of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. Of the four young women, one was identified demographically as Māori and Christian, one as Pasifika and Māori, one as Chinese, and one as NZ European/ Irish. Of the five young men, three were identified demographically as Māori and two as NZ European. 3Preliminary individual face-to-face video-recorded interviews and regular focus groups were conducted with the students. Video-recorded participant observations of Sexuality Education units in the students’Health classes were undertaken in 2011 (5) and in 2012 (13). Artefacts in the form of classroom resources and students’notes and drawings were collected as data. Two sets of fieldnotes were written by the researcher in 2011 (5) and in 2012 (13). Informed ethical consent was gained from the students and the teacher participating in the case study. Students have provided feedback on the findings to date. Pseudonyms have been used to protect the confidentiality of the students, teacher and school. 396K. Quinlivanet al. Next we draw on queering as a mode of critique to problematise the normative ways in which the liberal politics of recognition shape understandings of subjectivity for young people in the Kauri College Health classroom. The politics of liberal recognition: deployinghauorain the health and physical education-intended curriculum In this section, we show the ways in which the deployment ofhauorain both the intended (planned) and operational (in practice) curricula is an instance of liberal recognition (Povinelli,2002), which engages with Māori world views in ways that legitimate normative Eurocentric ways of knowing (Smith,2012; Penetito,2010). The utilisation of the Māori concept ofhauorain the HPENZC document (Ministry of Education,1999) drew on the previous use ofhauorawithin the health sector as representing a Māori perspective of health and well-being (Heaton,2011). It was used in the HPENZC document to define the essential learning area of health and physical well- being, 4and informs the development and use of classroom–student resources for learning abouthauorain the classroom. The concept ofhauorawas utilised in both the health and education sectors to demonstrate NZ’s obligation as a bicultural nation to value Māori ways of knowing, and create a space for Māori voice within educational policy (Heaton, 2011). Ross (2001) explains thathauorawas chosen as a Māori concept in the development of the HPENZC because it was seen to best equate with the English notion of well-being. Equatinghauorawith well-being in the curriculum document seriously debases the epistemological and etymological power and depth of the concept (Heaton, 2011; Ross,2001; Salter,2000). While on one hand the use ofhauoracan be seen to reflect a space within curricula for a Māori voice, its equation with well-being, as can be seen in bothFigures 1and2, privileges dominant Eurocentric ways of knowing through placing the dominant culture and language at the centre of understandings (Heaton, 2011). The Year 10 title page of thehauoraunit (Figure 1) depicts European symbols of the heart and ubiquitous smiley faces to instantiate a relentless neoliberal preoccupation with happiness and health (Ahmed,2010, Berlant,2011), although the slightly schizoid eyes provide a rather disturbing counterbalance! The use of wordhauoraor any Māori iconography is conspicuously absent. The equation ofhauorawith well-being also bears little relation to Māori thought. Heaton (2011) and others (Salter,2000; Ross,2001) note thathauorais a significant and complex cosmological concept that encompasses the animation of life itself, and also relates to metaphysical understandings of ancestry in Whakapapa and Māori creation stories. The‘domestication’(Smith,2012)ofhauorais also evident in the alignment of hauorawith Durie’s(1994) Te Whare Tapa Wha model, a visual model of which is included in the student resources. The Te Whare Tapa Wha model equateshauorawith a four-sided wharenui, 5including the dimensions of taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana and taha whanau. 6These four concepts are equated with Eurocentric under- standings of spiritual, mental and emotional, physical, and social well-being in ways which pay little attention to the Māori meanings of those concepts (Heaton,2011; Ross, 2001; Salter,2000). The adoption of these concepts in the use of Year 10 Health classroom resources at Kauri College instantiates understandings of the relationship betweenhauoraand the dimensions of Te Whare Tapa Wha deployed in the HPENZC. Despite the best intentions of the curriculum and classroom resource developers to legitimate Māori epistemologies, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education397 equating understandings ofhauorawith normative Eurocentric understandings legit- imates the Pākehānorm and subjugates Māori ways of knowing. Tensions between the two intertwined modes of governance that Povinelli identifies as features of liberal recognition–the autological subject and the genealogical society (Povinelli,2002,2006)–also manifest themselves in the classroom resource designed to enable students to engage with one of the four dimensions ofhauora(Figure 2). The resource that the Year 10 Health class uses to understand taha wairua uses the European notion of spirituality to understand the concept, displacing Māori understandings and reiterating Eurocentric understandings of spiritual well-being. The puzzled and question- ing‘everyman’stick figure seems to suggest that the dimension of taha wairua and meaning ofhauoraare perhaps so obtuse as to need explaining. Almost all the definitions invoke the autonomous and self-determining subject, rather than Māori understandings of interdependence and collective responsibility (Bishop,2012; MacFarlane,2004). The normalising understandings of spirituality reify discourses of the autological subject and denigrate those of the genealogical society, while also failing to do justice to the deep and complex ways in which taha wairua is fundamental to Mātauranga Māori (Erueti & Hapeta,2011). TheHauoratest (Figure 3) also reflects the dominant normative discourses of the autological subject over those of the genealogical society.Hauorais seen in terms of individual well-being, rather than aligned with Māori ontological notions of interrelation- ality and interdependence such as Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga and Kotahitanga 7 Figure 1.Hauorastudent resource title page. 398K. Quinlivanet al. (MacFarlane,2004). As with the other resources, the dimensions ofhauoraare filtered through normative Eurocentric understandings which privilege those epistemologies. Defining and explaining the content ofhauorain ways that align with normative European definitions take precedence over considering the implications ofhauora, not only for the individual, but for the broader interrelational contexts that they are situated within. The test reflects a broader liberal facts-based risk approach to health education– the belief that providing students with rational‘facts’will enable them to make the right (rather than the wrong) decisions (Lesko,2010). Getting the facts‘right’takes precedence over a deeper engagement with the more nuanced interpersonal affective demands of the Figure 2. What is spirituality?Hauorastudent resource. YEAR 9/10 HEALTH EDUCATION HAUORA PRE/POST TEST Name: 1. Give a definition of Hauora. 2. Name the four dimensions of Hauora. 3. How could moving to a new school affect your social well-being? 4. How could smoking affect your social well-being? 5. How could the use of alcohol affect your physical well-being? 6. When we speak of Hauora, we speak of a house. Explain why. 7. What is spiritual well-being? 8. Give a definition for the word whanau. 9. Name two characteristics of mental/emotional well-being. Figure 3.Hauorapre-/post-test. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education399 genealogical society (Povinelli,2002)–the interrelational, holistic potentialhauora might offer in terms of conceptualising subjectivities beyond individualism for students (Erueti & Hapeta,2011). Despite well-intentioned attempts to engage with Māori epistemologies in developing the classroom resources, cunning acts of liberal recognition (Povinelli,2002) equate indigenous concepts with Eurocentric ways of knowing, in effect privileging normative whiteness, and undermining Māori ways of knowing. While the adoption and utilisation of the concept ofhauorain the development of the HPENZC has been critiqued (Salter,2000), less attention has been paid to what happens in the classroom when students and their teachers learn together to understand and make meaning ofhauorain health education (Fitzpatrick,2005). We have argued here that the taking of thehauorapost-test within the context of the competitive Year 10‘high ability’ Health class exacerbates the demand for the students to produce themselves as autological subjects while simultaneously reducing the significance ofhauora. The limitations of liberal recognition: crafting normative subjectivities in the Health classroom In this section, we explore the ways in which liberal recognition through the utilisation of the Māori concept of hauora, while appearing to value indigenous ways of knowing, actually instantiates normative subjectivities in a‘high ability’health classroom. We show how two interrelated discursive forms of liberal discipline, the autological subject and the genealogical society (Povinelli,2002,2006), operate in classroom practices to privilege normalising Eurocentric understandings of well-being. The physical environment of the classroom reflects the key focus that notion ofhauora has had on the development of the HPENZC document, and the development of classroom resources that we have previously discussed.Hauoraand its features as signified by Durie’s(1994) Te Whare Tapa Wha model are prominently displayed around the walls of the classroom, both as definitions and visual posters illustratinghauoraand its four dimensions of well-being: taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana and taha whanau as a wharenui. Classroom observations note that they are frequently looked at by students when the teacher asks them to define and identify the dimensions ofhauora. The ways in which Māori concepts and iconography are utilised in the classroom, as liberal forms of recognition (Povinelli,2002,2006), have been identified by NZ Māori educational academics as problematic (Bishop,2012; Cooper,2012; Penetito,2010; Smith,2012). They note that teachers’understandings of culturally responsive learning contexts are underpinned by an understanding of culture as an external commodity, which they can import into the classroom in order to meet students’ needs. However, as Bishop (2012) points out, incorporating iconography, pronouncing Māori words correctly and incorporating Māori examples into lessons leaves Eurocentric epistemologies intact and fails to challenge their dominance (Cooper,2012). This article builds on this existing research to consider utilising a queer critique that attends to the ways in whichhauorais realised in the health classroom which one of the authors, Quinlivan, observed. Specifically, this critique is inspired by Povinelli’s queering of how particular notions of kinship are intrinsic to the production of both the autological subject and the genealogical society.Haoura, as taught in the classroom observed by Quinlivan, provides no future for young people beyond the autological subject. 400K. Quinlivanet al. The dominant normative forms of liberal recognition shaping learning abouthauorain the classroom resources were exacerbated by the culture of individual self- maximisation and competition actively displayed and encouraged in the‘high ability’Year 10 Health class. This is underpinned and supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s relentless neoliberal emphasis on raising academic achievement, especially for‘low performing’Māori and Pasifika students (Ministry of Education,2007). The transcript below of students talking of thehauorapost-test shows the extent to which the powerful and alluring discourses of the autological subject drove students self-making and a sense of the teacher’s competency: [Unlike the usually noisy classroom, there is total silence while students do the test] Teacher: [Emphatically] Remember how intelligent you guys are so use your whole brain… [They swap their tests to mark each others’] Teacher: The first thing if you put your name you get a point, can I say it doesn’t matter as long as I can read it. Aroha: [Demandinglyto Matiu]: Mark it neatly!… Teacher: [Commandingly] When we speak ofHauorawe think of a house, why? Another student: The four dimensions… April [Triumphantlyto Huia]: Exactly! and that’s what you wrote! Teacher: [Commandingly] What is spiritual? Your beliefs, your values, your goals and your directions in life? Teacher: What is a definition ofwhānau?–Your family and friends… Teacher: Anything to do with thoughts and feelings… Matiu: It’s not out of 15, it’s 14! [Incensed] Miss, you said number 4 is one mark! Aroha: [Threateninglyto Matiu]: Don’t muck it up, Matiu, don’t make it look ugly! [The teacher records all the students’marks. The students are all asking one another what mark they got] Graeme changes his mark on his sheet when he gets it back. Aroha [To Graeme]: She’s gonna check it now!… Matiu: [Disbelievinglyto the teacher]: You said 15 but it was 13! Teacher: Every single person improved! [Then she reads out how much they improved by] It’s important to listen to your peers and see how much they improved… [One student gets a pencil for improving the most.] [Participant observation Year 10 Health Classroom, 29 March 2012] In addition to dominant Eurocentric knowledge defininghauoraand its dimensions, any engagement with the concept is limited by a fact-based orientation to knowledge that revolves around getting the answers correct (Lesko,2010). Both the students and the teacher in the Health class value liberal individualism–the enterprising autological subject. And the stakes are high–intense feelings of concentration, urgency, competition and anxiety permeated the room; the students relentlessly policed themselves and each other in order to produce themselves as academic winners. The incident provides an illustration of the extent to which, despite the best intentions of curriculum developers and policy-makers to engage with the obligations of the genealogical society, discourses of the autological subject dominate (Povinelli,2002,2006). In the culture of this‘high ability’classroom, getting the right answer appears to be more important than engaging substantively with Māori epistemologies and ontologies and notions of kinship, obligation and care. Despite the lip service being paid to Māori ways of knowing, students know that enacting the individualistic competitive and academically successful‘enterprise subject’is the measure of success in the classroom in this low decile school.Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education401 Conclusion In this article, we have drawn on queer theory’s propensity to move beyond heteronormativity and the queer subject to critically engage with the politics of race as a site of social normalisation (Eng et al.,2005). Recognising the homonormative whiteness of much queer scholarship (Perez,2005), our analysis has critically interrogated the ways in which the politics of liberal recognition (Povinelli,2002, 2006) problematically shape normative constructions of raced subjects within the intended and operational Health curricula. While appearing to legitimate indigenous knowledge, the deployment ofhauorain the Kauri College Health class paradoxically reiterates Eurocentric epistemologies and marginalises Māori ways of knowing. The analysis speaks to the tensions between two intertwined but antithetical discourses of belonging which shape how Health education can engage with racial difference: the autological subject and the genealogical society (Povinelli,2002,2006). We contend that it is all but impossible to engage with the creation of diverse subjects outside the demands of liberal recognition. Despite the best intentions of non-Māori to engage with Māori epistemologies in policy and practice, in conceptualisation and enactment they can be dominated by individualistic notions of well-being that reflect the autological enterprise subject. The‘cunning politic’of recognition (Povinelli,2002), while appearing to legitimate Māori epistemologies and ontologies, operates in ways that reproduce rather than disrupt networks of power. In conclusion, we feel that it is important to consider what might be generative in drawing on queering as a mode of critique to interrogate the liberal politics of race in school-based Health education. In the face of local and global contexts characterised by growing social inequalities and injustice, it is easy to dismiss the role that queer theory can play in critiquing a wide range of social normalisation, as an empty gesture which curtails, rather than enables, change. Povinelli (2011), Cruz-Malave and Manalansan (2002), and others (Cooper,2012; Jones & Jenkins,2007) disagree. They emphasise the role that opening up, interrupting and interrogating normative logics play, in providing the preconditions for alternative imaginaries. Povinelli (2011, p. 191), in outlining an ‘ethics of negative critique’, notes that critical interrogation is neither neutral nor disinterested. She maintains that directing her critique at the architects of liberal governance, and arguing‘not this’, acts positively in troubling taken for granted liberal moves to engage with difference. Such approaches, she notes, do not preclude other actions from being taken. Attempting to disrupt the normative cultures of whiteness within educational institutions whose modus operandi is normativity requires an analysis that goes beyond feeling grateful for liberal white forms of inclusion. A critical engagement with the implications of the recognition that is being afforded is necessary. Queering as a mode of critique provides an analysis that critically engages with the wily politics of liberal recognition, enabling a thoughtful and considered negotiation of the complexities of engaging with difference within formal educational contexts. Notes 1. In NZ, schools are ranked from deciles 1 to 10 according to the socio-economic status (SES) of the community from which the young people are drawn, with 1 being the lowest. Kauri College is a decile 3 school, indicating that it is situated within a low SES community. 2. Pākehāis the term for a New Zealander of European descent. 402K. Quinlivanet al. 3. While the students were identified demographically in these ways, most of them felt ambivalent about personally identifying themselves as belonging to those racial groups. 4. The separation of health and physical well-being reflects European rather than indigenous epistemologies (Heaton,2011). 5. Māori meeting house. 6. To read more about these terms in the context of the NZ curriculum see:http://health.tki.org.nz/ Teaching-in-HPE/Curriculum-statement/Underlying-concepts/Well-being-hauora. 7. Whanaungatanga: building relationships; manaakitanga: an ethic of caring; and kotahitanga: an ethic of bonding (MacFarlane,2004). 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