Title

Policy rationalities and policy technologies: A programme for analysing the raised school-leaving age in Western Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Routledge

Faculty

Faculty of Regional and Professional Studies

School

School of Social Work

RAS ID

12495

Comments

This article was originally published as: Hodgson, D. R. (2011). Policy rationalities and policy technologies: A programme for analysing the raised school-leaving age in Western Australia. Journal of Education Policy, 26(1), 115-130. Original article available here

Abstract

In this paper I outline an approach towards policy analysis that takes governmentality as its point of theoretical orientation and begin to apply this approach to my research into the recently raised compulsory school-leaving age in Western Australia. I aim to demonstrate the methodological potentials of this approach by giving examples of the thinking and practices that shape and condition the policy. I commence by situating the school-leaving age policy within a broader field of reforms occurring under the general banner of neoliberalism and argue that the policy is primarily concerned with the conduct of students classified at ‘educational risk’, and with transforming these students to become more visible, participative and engaged in their schooling. By focusing on the policy rationalities and technologies, and drawing on Foucault’s notion of governmentality, I explore the forms of knowledge and practical strategies that are deployed in this policy field. I contend that this particular deployment narrowly constructs young people’s experiences of schooling in ways that do not allow for a broader debate about their declining school attendance and what should be done to address it

 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.1080/02680939.2010.498901