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All my books…are if you like, little tool boxes

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1 All my books…are if you like, little tool boxes
All my books…are if you like, little tool boxes. If people want to open them, or to use this sentence or that idea as a screwdriver or spanner to short-circuit, discredit or smash systems of power, including eventually those from which my books have emerged…so much the better. Foucault, M. (1975) Interview with Roger Pol Droit. In M. Morris and P. Patton (Eds) Michel Foucault: power, truth, strategy. Sydney: Ferral Publications

2 I would like my books to be a kind of tool-box which others can rummage through to find a tool which they can use however they wish in their own area... I would like [my work] to be useful to an educator, a warden, a magistrate, a conscientious objector. I don't write for an audience, I write for users, not readers. Michel Foucault. (1994) [1974]. 'Prisons et asiles dans le mécanisme du pouvoir'. In Dits et Ecrits vol. 11. Paris: Gallimard, pp

3 The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he (sic) does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).

4 Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society. History of Sexuality, p.93.

5 The analysis [of power] should not attempt to consider power from its internal point of view and...should refrain from posing the labyrinthine and unanswerable question: 'Who then has power and what has he in mind? What is the aim of someone who possesses power?' Instead, it is a case of studying power at the point where its intention, if it has one, is completely invested in its real and effective practices. (H S p.97)

6 Let us things work at the level of on-going subjugation, at the level of those continuous and uninterrupted processes which subject our bodies, govern our gestures, dictate our behaviors, etc....we should try to discover how it is that subjects are gradually, progressively, really and materially constituted through a multiplicity of organisms, forces, energies, materials, desires, thoughts, etc. We should try to grasp subjection in its material instance as a constitution of subjects. (H S p.97)

7 Power is diffuse, circulating in a capillary fashion around and through institutions, reaching into the very grain of those who are made subjects through their involvement in discourse – parents, children, prisoners, teachers, therapists, clients, claimants, lawyers, employers, and so on. (MacLure, 2003, following Foucault, 1980: 39).

8 Discourses authorize what can and cannot be said; they produce relations of power and communities of consent and dissent, and these discursive boundaries are always being drawn around what constitutes desirable and the undesirable and around what it is that makes possible particular structures of intelligibility and unintelligibility. (Britzman, 2000: 36)

9 They engage children in conversations and keep them on a single topic even when the children can hardly talk at all…They play alphabet games, recite nursery rhymes, read books aloud with great effect. They ask their children, ‘What’s that?’ and ‘What’s that say?’ of pictures in a book they’ve seen a hundred times…Most important of all, they make clear to their children that people like us use language, think, value and talk in these ways, with these objects at these times and in these places. They introduce their children to discourses that have, for historical, political and social reasons come to overlap their homes and our schools. These ‘Discourse’ are not natural and normal- lots of groups neither do them nor find them very senseful. (Gee, 1992: 123; original emphasis).

10 … ways of constituting knowledge, together with social practices, forms of subjectivity, and power relations which inhere in such knowledges and the relations between them. Discourses are more than ways of thinking and producing meaning. They constitute the ‘nature’ of the body, unconscious mind and emotional life of the subjects they seek to govern…the ways in which discourse constitutes the minds and bodies of individuals is always part of a wider network of power relations, often with an institutional basis.

11 Observation field notes
Shahed meticulously rests the cloth so that it is on the table exactly as she wants it. She then proceeds to take out various items from the cupboard under the sink. She places knives, forks and spoons painstakingly on the table. Flowers are placed at the exact centre of the table. Each plate is given a selection of food and these are carried one by one to the table and set appropriately. The chairs are then aligned. On each a soft toy is made to sit up. The dog is then put into the basket and food is prepared for it and a bowl is set down. (Liz Jones, 28th September, 06)

12 Home lives are very haphazard for some of these children
Home lives are very haphazard for some of these children. The behaviours aren’t their fault. I blame the parents…They need to live by the rules. Basically they’re feral…

13 In the art area, Ms S is trying to wind up a stick of glue
In the art area, Ms S is trying to wind up a stick of glue. ‘Why don’t you wind it that way?’ suggests Daniel to Ms S. ‘Instead of telling me what to do, why don’t you concentrate on your own work. Turn around and get on’ she replies [Limefield, ]

14 The judges of normality are present everywhere
The judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker -judge. The norm is something that can be applied to both a body one wishes to discipline and a population one wishes to regularize. (Foucault, /2003, pp. 253)

15 At Chesterfield school the class teacher had gathered the children together onto the carpeted area so that as a group they could retell the story of Goldilocks by acting it out. The teacher began by choosing six children who ‘would be the woods’. These children were encouraged to stand up and to wave their arms about ‘like branches’. Ms H then asked of the remaining seated children: Who would like to be Goldilocks? Samuel, an African Caribbean boy was the first to put his hand up. Ms H responded to him by saying: No Samuel. You can’t be Goldilocks …for obvious reasons . (field note, Chesterfield, ).

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