standardized, sanitized, sanctified: the construction of student subjectivities

Mr Michael Bibby s4032484 at student.uq.edu.au
Thu Jun 17 10:05:30 EST 2004

“there are no relations of power without resistances” Michel Foucault 

Lecturers, preaching in governmentally legitimised learning institutions,
promulgate their views upon students in the theatrics of the lecture hall
through the process of instruction only to have them reflect it right back at
them in precisely the same shape and form in which they imposed upon them (so
precisely, in fact, that they studiously- themselves being ‘scholars’- analyize
it in a questioning light) in the examining processes which casts over students
a blanket of visibility, a conceptual net, which renders them calculable
(individuating them and judging them)- in much the same way, if only by
different means, as the psychological experiment expose its willing participant
to the logico-mathematical tools and axiological machinery of a made-to-measure
science which cant conceive of its subjects in terms other than as points in
multivariant distributions, ‘deviations from the mean’, ‘extreme outliers’.
Dissident elements of the student population which operate outside of the
parameters and guidelines set up by the (‘standardized’) marking criteria the
institutions in which they are caught up lay down, are apposed by the effects
produced by the normalizing judgements which bring to bear upon the student
subjectivity systems of ordering them, a classificatory systems, in the
constitution of a hierarchically organizing grading system which defines them in
terms of ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘average’ students; in short, which organizes and
orders them by opening up spaces for them to occupy and invest with interests.


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