Foucault News

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

Zhang, H., Powell, D.
Governing Olympic education: Technologies of policy announcements and outsourcing
(2022) International Review for the Sociology of Sport

DOI: 10.1177/10126902221101993

The Chinese government views the Olympic Games as a critical platform to present national pride on a global scale. Olympic education also has an important role to play for China, as it is a requirement for any Olympic host country. In the context or preparations for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, this original ethnographic research examines the governance of Olympic education, with a focus on how relationships between China’s government and a range of stakeholders (e.g. private sectors, academics, and individual teachers) ‘worked’ to shape the implementation of Olympic education in two Beijing primary schools. Utilising Foucault’s notion of governmentality, we demonstrate that Olympic education was a significant tactic for Chinese government to realise their ambition of the great rejuvenation of China. Here, the state employed two technologies of government: policy announcements and outsourcing. In tension with common assumptions about China – and Chinese education – being purely authoritarian, our research illuminates how hybrid socialist-neoliberal rationalities worked to shape Olympic education in schools. © The Author(s) 2022.

Author Keywords
2022 Winter Olympics; governmentality; hybrid socialist-neoliberal rationality; Olympic education; outsourcing; policy

Index Keywords
article, China, education, government, human, human experiment, rejuvenation, tension, winter

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