Beyond the panopticon: Accounting for behaviour in parent-teacher communications

Year: 1994

Author: Keogh, Jayne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Foucault has shown how institutional discourses and practices operate to regulate the conduct of the social populace, linking the constitution of individual subjects to the objective of improving the condition of the population as a whole. Incorporating Foucault's notion of "governmentality", this paper will analyse segments of parent-teacher talk and extracts from a number of printed materials addressed to parents of students attending various secondary schools in Brisbane, Queensland. Using an ethnomethodological approach, I will show how individuals in such institutional sites are mutually constituted and positioned through the use of distinct educational discourses which act as textual practices of social regulation and control.