Foucault, Governmentality, Neoliberalism and Adult Education - Perspective on the Normalization of Social Risks

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Foucault, Governmentality, Neoliberalism and Adult Education - Perspective on the Normalization of Social Risks

The article deals with the relevance of the work of Foucault to critical analysis of the political concept of lifelong learning that currently dominates. This concept relates to the field of adult education and learning. The article makes reference to the relatively late incorporation of Foucault's work within andragogy. It shows the relevance of Foucault's concept of a subject situated within power relations where the relation between knowledge and power plays a key role. The analysis of changing relations between knowledge and power will help us to understand important features of neoliberal public policies. The motif of human capital is key. The need to continually adapt to the changing economic and social conditions follows on from the neoliberal interpretation of learning, and the individual is to blame for failure on the labour market or in life generally.

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