Making Workers: A Foucauldian-Influenced Poststructural Analysis Of The Purposes Of Community College Education

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann Marie McNeely (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Alecia Jackson

Abstract: This work interrogates the narrowing of the purposes of community college education to vocationalism, or job training, while neglecting or dismissing two broader purposes of higher education: personal and citizenship development. This study employs Michel Foucault’s poststructural critique, using his conceptualizations of power/knowledge, discourse, subjectivity, and resistance, along with secondary texts, to explore the unexamined assumptions underlying the “truths” about community college education. The theoretical analysis deconstructs the discourse that drives specific practices to examine how power/knowledge relations create particular subject positions, or subjectivities, that serve the goals of certain groups while producing harmful effects for others. In addition, this analysis explores how points of resistance, in opposing the dominant “truth,” disrupt power/knowledge relations. Using writing as a form of analysis, this study conceives of all players in the power relations of community college purposes as subjugated by certain knowledges. Each individual absorbs and enables the knowledges used by power to subjugate others, and/or the knowledges that make one subject to the power, and/or the knowledges that oppose this state of subjugation. Therefore, each chapter of this work is organized by specific subjectivities that are created in power/knowledge relations and in the study of those relations. Poststructural theory and post qualitative methodology thus work together to offer one possible description of how practices and subjectivities are functioning either to keep power circulating or to disrupt it.

Additional Information

McNeely, A. (2020). Making Workers: A Foucauldian-Influenced Poststructural Analysis Of The Purposes Of Community College Education. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
poststructural, Foucault, discourse analysis, purposes of community college education, neoliberalism

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