Michael Peters, Education, Enterprise Culture and the Entrepreneurial Self: A Foucauldian Perspective, Journal of Educational Enquiry, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2001 58
The notion of ‘enterprise culture’ emerged in the United Kingdom as a central motif in political thought under Margaret Thatcher’s administration. The notion represented a profound shift away from the Keynesian welfare state to a deliberate attempt at cultural restructuring and engineering based upon the neo-liberal model of the entrepreneurial self – a shift characterised as a moving from a ‘culture of dependency’ to one of ‘self-reliance’. In education this shift took the form of the ‘enterprise education’ and the ‘enterprise curriculum’. This paper, utilising the perspective of Michel Foucault, analyses the ‘generalization of an ‘enterprise form’ to all forms of conduct’ (Burchell) and the way in which the promotion of an enterprise culture has become a style of government characteristic of both neoliberalism and Third Way politics.