Neoliberalism and the discursive construction of ‘creativity’
(2018) Critical Studies in Education, pp. 1-16. Article in Press.
This paper resists normative definitions of ‘creativity’ to argue that the concept is constructed by neoliberal discourses in education policy. The analysis is firstly centred on the Australian context, and this is further informed and complimented by a global perspective. Focusing on two pivotal policies, The Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals for Young Australians and PISA 2012 Results: Creative Problem Solving, the paper argues that universal versions of creativity, such as those that align the concept with problem-solving or design endeavour, are a product of market logic. Using Foucault’s concept of homo economius, it traces how creativity is subsumed into discourses of workplace readiness and rapidly changing environments, and proceeds to identify how select and partial discourses of the concept, such as creativity as instrumental and determinable are supported, while there is a silence around alternative conceptualisations. The paper concludes with a discussion on how the discursive positioning of creativity by neoliberal themes and formations brings about real effects: certain work practices are valued more than others and particular student and teacher subjectivities are endorsed or demoted ‘in the name of’ creativity. © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Creativity; Foucault; homo economicus; knowledge; neoliberalism; policy; power