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Moving Towards a Parrhesiastic Pedagogy

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Levett, P (2006) Moving Towards a Parrhesiastic Pedagogy. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

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).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2008 21:44
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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