Desiring-production and social (re)production: Towards a desiring-analysis for the sociology of education

Year: 2016

Author: Mayes, Eve

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

That particular groups of students, their parents and communities have been minoritized by schooling is well-known (Bishop, 2011). Students’, parents’ and communities’ knowledge is frequently interpreted in deficit terms, even as there is great potential in pedagogies that recognise and integrate these funds of knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005). This paper extends these significant epistemological insights to explore the ontological dimensions of educational inequalities and their potential interruption. In unthreading the constitution of such deficit accounts, my analysis does not begin with power/knowledge relations (alone) but, rather, with desire. Desire precedes the social production of deficit (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983). In contrast to traditional logics of psychoanalytic desire premised on lack, desire is analysed as affirmative, seeking connections in desiring-production that is inextricable from social production. Desire “is always assembled” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980/ 1987, p. 229), “remain[ing] in close touch with the conditions of objective existence; it embraces them and follows them” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 27). Desire moves in and through the dialectic of structure and agency, of macroanalyses of schools and systems and microanalyses of power and resistance. Desire is not to be separated from the ostensible rationality of institutions but, rather, forms “part of the infrastructure itself” (Deleuze & Guattari, 1983, p. 63).This paper argues for the analytic utility of desire, not only for diagnosing inequalities, but also for collaborative interrogations of immanent conditions and affirmative desiring-interventions with students, teachers and communities. These analytical modes accumulated during a participatory ethnography of voice in school reform processes situated in a minoritized school. Sociological questions will be dramatically explored through a puppet production created by a group of four student co-researchers. I consider the implications of desiring-analysis for pedagogy, educational reform policies and evaluations, and for researchers’ theory-praxis work in and representations/productions of minoritized schools. ReferencesBishop, R. (2011). Making it possible for Minoritized students to take on student leadership roles. Leading and Managing, 17(2), 110-121. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1980/ 1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (R. Hurley, M. Seem, & H. R. Lane, Trans.). Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.Gonzalez, N., Moll, L., & Amanti, C. (1992). Funds of knowledge. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.