Foucault News

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

Ryan P. Deuel (2022) International education as an ethical practice: cultivating a care of the self, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education,
DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2022.2050677

Various critical approaches tend to view international student mobility within economic and political frameworks, while governmentality studies focuses on the governing practices that shape individual conduct and govern populations. Yet, these approaches often overlook another crucial element, the ethical relationship individuals have to themselves. Considering the relationship international students have to truth, power, and subjugating techniques of the self acknowledges both the coercive and the constitutive elements of international education and student mobility. It allows for new understandings of identity-making and self-formation during students’ international experiences. This conceptual paper proposes the development of an analytical framework based on Foucauldian ethics for (re)conceptualizing international students as active agents in the construction of their own identity rather than caught up in their own subjugation. This novel approach suggests a move toward ethical internationalization practices, which emphasize reflexive self-formation and the exercise of democratic practices over division, control, and competition.

KEYWORDS: Internationalization, international student mobility, ethics, identity-making

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