Finding resilience as an Indonesian queer teacher through Foucault's technologies of the self: A narrative inquiry

Year: 2017

Author: Pultra, Tubagus

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper is my narrative inquiry which highlights and discusses the meanings of resilience in the study of teacher leadership. As an English school teacher who identifies as queer in Indonesia, I argue that the politics of heteronormativity has discoursed myself into a subject of conflict, oftentimes inducing malaise, burn-out, and discontinuity into my professional ethos. In this paper, I journey into my experiences to critically reflect on how I make meanings of my practice towards resilient leadership in a strongly heteronormative professional site. There are three thematic narratives in my inquiry: a) resilience as making meaning of happiness; b) resilience as making meaning of care; and c) resilience as making meaning of justice. In eliciting those critical narratives, my perspectives are constructed by Foucauldian discussions (1988) on the technologies of the self, which employ reciprocities in understanding personal and relational subjectivities over people governmentality or, as leadership studies are concerned, organisational contexts. The readings of the technologies of the self help me perceive my critical narratives from the ontology of the self amidst the operating power of heteronormativity as a teacher. This paper concludes that resilience is an anthropocentric and perceptual construct of being, as opposed to phronesis (knowledge)-based outcomes. Resilience is engineered from sym-poetic attitudes; all organisational actors collaboratively make the meanings as a pursuit of happiness, care, and justice. It suggests that state of being resilient is individually and collectively constructed in an interplay which is constantly rethinking the regime of heteronormative truth in Indonesian schooling and teacher professionalism against the idea of happiness, care, and justice. It is of hope that my inquiry significantly contributes more imminent discussion of multileveled dimension of resilience to the scholarship of resilient leadership which, I argue, has rather set dominant foci on the proliferation of techniques towards self-recovering organisational members and inclusive organisational atmosphere. It challenges the fact that the stream of discussions on resilient leadership is strongly stemming to the need for practicality to satisfy the sense of arrival at certain ends of the problems. Furthermore, the inquiry is also to provoke discussions on Indonesian queer studies in professional settings, which has been lain dormant for so long in such "political" silence.