Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Rogers, D. Research, practice, and the space between: Care of the self within neoliberalized institutions, Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies, Volume 12, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 242-254

This article challenges the neoliberal discourse of “instrumental rationality” that is encroaching on theories of qualitative research, critical reflection, and subjectivity. I return to Foucault’s historical ontology of the self and the ancient Athenian precept care of the self to show that critical reflection and rationality have never been mutually exclusive. I put the care of the self metaphor to empirical use by examining the practical and ethical issues that emerged when I transitioned from a state-sponsored frontline employee working with public housing tenants, to a university researcher investigating public housing tenant participation in a state-sponsored urban redevelopment project. The focus is on my experiences as a practitioner-researcher working within two neoliberalized institutions, while also constructing a performative research ethic to mount a challenge against the politics of neoliberal “evidence” in the space between.

Author keywords
action research; care of the self; critical reflection; Foucault; neoliberal; reflexivity

One thought on “Research, practice, and the space between: Care of the self within neoliberalized institutions (2012)

  1. Somewhere I remember reading of FDR’s public housing program whereby the prospective tenants and the architects worked together to actualize the space of where they were to be living. It sounded just wonderful.

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