From: Ashley Byock <a-byock@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2006 15:05:46 +0100
another possibility might be to look at specific instances of the exercise
of power--if these relate to life in school, they might have specific
physical manifestations like report cards (do those still exist?), detention
notices, hall passes--all of these are the trademarks of power. they're
slips of paper (or used to be) or pieces of wood (or used to be); and yet,
these physical objects are traces of a much larger system of power that is
so invisible, and so unremarked, that the hall pass itself seems to hold
power over its temporary possessor. this is remarkable if you think about
looking at such specific instances will give you both some concrete
instances to analyze (which will save you from the dangers of
over-abstraction), as well as some physical dog and pony stuff to show off.
look closely at the language employed by these materials. what is stated?
what is not stated?
remember, too, that in conceptualizations of power relations like
foucault's, the exercise of power is so pervasive that we, no matter how
brilliant or analytical we may be, can never escape from it. looking at
instances at least provides the opportunity to test our assertions (e.g. the
assertion that hall passes stand in for the power of authority to legislate
something like how long you can leave the classroom, where you can go,
etc...) which can never themselves be uninflected by the ideologies of power
that we have interiorized as self-discipline.
you might even ask: in the american high school (public i'm
assuming/hoping?), what are the ends, the hoped-for results, of the exercise
of power, discipline, and punishment?
are those who exercise power also subject to it?
On 1/5/06 11:33 AM, "Erik Hoogcarspel" <jehms@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Zero B schreef:
>> Hi, my name is Marc Beerline and I am a senior at TunderRidge High
>> School, a suburb of Denver. As a graduation requirement, we are
>> required to do a "senior project"; in most cases, this project is a
>> horse-and-show type of project where most students are awarded
>> enthuastic A's for projects like "rebuilding my Mustang". I'm looking
>> to do a Foucaultian critique of the public education system, in
>> particular, the Power/Knowledge relationship within public
>> schools--espeically with the pressures of standardized tests and the
>> No Child Left Behind Act, either that or a cultural critique of
>> American taboo. My only fear, unfortunately is that those on the board
>> will not understand the significance of what I am researching,
>> especially in terms of what the 'standards' of the project itself are.
>> I am also struggling with how I could present this in some sort of
>> presentation with something physcially tangible, as it is a
>> requirement for the project. I do see the irony in my proposal ! and
>> dillema. I also need help with the specificity with what I am
>> researching and how I am to go about doing it. Any suggestions would
>> be great. Sorry, that was far from coherent.
> Hi Marc,
> you could start with reading Discipline and Punishment and show that the
> school is a real and virtual panopticon, because everything has to be
> obeserved and judged. Then you could elaborate on the importance of the list,
> and the dossier, the portfolio or waht you call it, as a pass for future
> education or a job. Yuo could also study the reaction of students caused by
> the feeling of being watched and the different disicplinairy measures as
> kicking out or enclosing in hte system.
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