Micro-level techniques of power in the classroom production of class, race, gender and other relations

Year: 1998

Author: Gore, Jennifer

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this paper, I draw upon data collected in four different pedagogical sites to explore how social differentiation operates at the classroom level. So-called "hidden curriculum" research has documented the production or reproduction of class, race, and gender dynamics in classrooms, typically using a methodology which used one of more of these aspects of social difference as a foundation. My own study proceeded from a Foucauldian understanding of power as operating from the ground up. Hence, I examined the operation of power, including the specific techniques of power and the direction of any exercises of power, prior to assessing any effects in terms of class, race, or gender. Here I link the earlier analysis of techniques of power (such as surveillance, normalisation and classification) with more traditional radical educational concerns with structural dynamics of power including, but not limited to, class, race and gender.