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Somatic pedagogies: Critiquing and resisting the affective discourse of the neoliberal state from an embodied anarchist perspective.

Firth, Rhiannon (2016) 'Somatic pedagogies: Critiquing and resisting the affective discourse of the neoliberal state from an embodied anarchist perspective.' Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization, 16. 121 - 142. ISSN 2052-1499

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Abstract

This paper takes as its context widespread feelings of anxiety within neoliberal society caused by a combination of material and discursive factors including precarious access to work and resources. It is argued that the state uses 'discourses of affect' to produce compliant subjects able to deal with (and unable to desire beyond) neoliberal precarity and anxiety. Critical education theorists have argued that discourses of ?well-being?, emotional support and self-help have gained increasing purchase in mainstream education and in popular culture. These discourses are dangerous because they are individualized and depoliticized, and undermine collective political struggle. At the same time there has been a 'turn to affect' in critical academia, producing critical pedagogies that resist state affective discourse. I argue that these practices are essential for problematizing neoliberal discourse, yet existing literature tends to elide the role of the body in effective resistance, emphasising intellectual aspects of critique. The paper sketches an alternative, drawing on psychoanalytic and practiced pedagogies that aim to transgress the mind-body dualism and hierarchy, in particular Roberto Freire's work on Somatherapy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: therapeutic education critical pedagogy well-being precarity anxiety affect the body soma somatherapy Roberto Freire
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2018 12:08
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2018 12:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21978

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