Foucault News

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

Kelly, S.
Securing Dangerous Children as Literate Subjects
(2016) Children Australia, pp. 1-10. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1017/cha.2016.16

This paper examines how the education of children as literate subjects in schools and community settings is implicated in the politics of securing civil society. Foucault’s concept of biopolitics is used to consider how young people are produced as securitised subjects. The emergence of the concept of human security as a technology for measuring human development is problematised using Bacchi’s methodology. The analysis uses the Northern Territory intervention to question representations of young people as subjects of danger and as potentially dangerous subjects. This paper argues that the use of literacy by the apparatus of state and non-state governmentalities functions as a technology of risk mitigation and biopolitical government: a way of contingently positioning the freedoms of children as subjects to forms of rule. The paper concludes by suggesting that literacy has been deployed as a techne of an authoritarian form of liberalism in which the power to delimit entangles children in biopolitical strategies and sovereign intervention. Copyright © The Author(s) 2016

Author Keywords
biopolitics; children; civil society; literacy; security

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