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Subjectivation and performative politics—Butler thinking Althusser and Foucault: intelligibility, agency and the raced-nationed-religioned subjects of education

Youdell, Deborah (2006) Subjectivation and performative politics—Butler thinking Althusser and Foucault: intelligibility, agency and the raced-nationed-religioned subjects of education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27 (4). pp. 513-530. ISSN 0142-5692

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Abstract

Judith Butler is perhaps best known for her take-up of the debate between Derrida and Austin over the function of the performative and her subsequent suggestion that the subject be understood as performatively constituted. Another important but less often noted move within Butler‘s consideration of the processes through which the subject is constituted is her thinking between Althusser‘s notion of subjection and Foucault‘s notion of subjectivation. In this paper, I explore Butler‘s understanding of processes of subjectivation; examine the relationship between subjectivation and the performative suggested in and by Butler‘s work, and consider how the performative is implicated in processes of subjectivation – in =who‘ the subject is, or might be, subjectivated as. Finally, I examine the usefulness of understanding the subjectivating effects of discourse for education, in particular for educationalists concerned to make better sense of and interrupt educational inequalities. In doing this I offer a reading of an episode of ethnographic data generated in an Australian high School. I suggest that it is through subjectivating processes of the sort that Butler helps us to understand that some students are rendered subjects inside the educational endeavour, and others are rendered outside this endeavour or, indeed, outside student-hood.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Education Foundations and Policy Studies
IOE Departments > Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2010 17:00
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:52
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/2084
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