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Type: Journal article
Title: Schoolchildren, governmentality and national e-safety policy discourse
Author: Hope, A.
Citation: Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 2015; 36(3):343-353
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0159-6306
Statement of
Andrew Hope
Abstract: The introduction of widespread school Internet access in industrialised countries has been accompanied by the materialisation of what can be labelled as a national school e-safety agenda. Drawing upon Foucault's notions of discourse and governmentality, this paper explores how e-safety policy documents serve to constrain the conceptual environment, seeking to determine and limit individuals' thoughts on this matter. Analysing UK and US government texts, it is argued that four main themes arise that subvert critical, informed debate about children online. Namely, the discursive construction of e-kids, the muting of schoolchildren's voices, the responsibilisation of students and ‘diagnostic inflation’ through realist risk discourses. These issues can be interpreted as an attempt to engender control through particular strategies of governmentality. While recognising that students may resist such attempts at control, it is concluded that the issue of children's digital rights need to be more prominent in e-safety policies.
Keywords: e-safety policy, Foucault, discourse, governmentality, voice, responsibilisation, 'diagnostic inflation'
Rights: © 2014 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0030039241
DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2013.871237
Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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