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Adult education as a heterotopia of deviation: a dwelling for the abnormal citizen
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Educational Work. Stockholm University, University of Skövde.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1776-478X
2016 (English)In: Adult Education Quarterly, ISSN 0741-7136, E-ISSN 1552-3047, Vol. 66, no 2, 103-119 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We argue that municipal adult education (MAE) can be seen as a place for displaced and abnormal citizens to gain temporary stability, enabling their shaping into desirable subjects. Drawing on a poststructural discursive analysis, we analyse policy texts and interviews with teachers and students. Our analysis illustrates how two distinct student subjectivities are shaped: the rootless, unmotivated and irresponsible student and the responsible, motivated and goal-oriented one. The difference is that the latter of these subjectivities is positioned as desirable. MAE provides a temporary place in time, a heterotopia of deviation, allowing students to escape precarious employment. The heterotopia places the students in a positive utopian dream of the future. A utopia is not a real place, and what is to become of the students after finishing MAE is not determined; the students themselves should shape it. If they fail, in line with a neoliberal governmentality, it is their own fault. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 66, no 2, 103-119 p.
Keyword [en]
Heterotopia of deviation, Adult education, Foucault, Power, Citizenship, Precarious employment, poststructuralism
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-20532DOI: 10.1177/0741713615618447ISI: 000373217300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-20532DiVA: diva2:889381
Available from: 2015-12-23 Created: 2015-12-23 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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