University of Tasmania
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Moving towards a parrhesiastic pedagogy

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posted on 2023-05-26, 03:37 authored by Levett, P
This thesis, 'Moving towards a parrhesiastic pedagogy', explores the relationship between experience, social power and transformation through a Foucauldian (1972, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000a, 2002c) discursive analysis of the author's coming out journal. As a critical autoethnographic (Reed-Danahay 1997) study, it examines how the dominant discourses of the journal construct versions of sex, sexuality and gender that simultaneously enable and constrain multiple positions of subjectivity (Butler 1997b; Davies 1991). This investigation into the nexus of power, discourse and the construction of the self is an important vehicle to advance critical and feminist pedagogy's agenda towards promoting individual social change and transformation (Taylor & Vintages 2004). The thesis explores how agency results from a critical reflexivity that examines the practices of self-constitution within/against (Lather 1991) dominant discourses and their concomitant relations of power. Analysing the strategies and techniques that are invoked to both sustain and resist the play of these relations maximises capacity for transformation and change (Foucault 2002c; Poster 1989). The aim of the discourse analysis is to uncover and dissect discursive conventions and make apparent the partiality and situatedness of language and knowledge production. This will involve understanding the frames and boundaries that discourses establish around what can be considered as knowledge; how these knowledge systems construct normalising effects, creating fictions of truth that appear natural and unquestionable; the techniques through which the self is induced to govern itself and comply with these normalising ideas, and the ways in which the self is never fully subsumed within discourse, always refusing to be fully determined. A view of poststructural agency is constructed for educational practice that facilitates a critical ontology of subjectivity within parrhesiastic (McLaren 2002; O'Leary 2002) moments that disturb dominant versions of truth/knowledge/self practices (Foucault 1993, 1998, 2000; Gore 1993, 2002; O'Leary 2002; Tamboukou 2003).


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Copyright 2006 the author

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  • Open

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