Putting Foucault to Work in Educational Research

Document Type

Review Essay

Publication Title

Journal of Philosophy of Education

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

This essay reviews three books that engage the writings of Michel Foucault. It examines to what extent and in what ways Foucault has been made to ‘work’ in educational practice and research. It suggests that Foucault has been narrowly appropriated in a way that is, ultimately, ironic—namely, as either liberating us from or entrapping us within our culture’s structures and practices. This essay concludes by suggesting that Foucault’s work was an attempt to avoid and subvert exactly such binaries.