Intelligence testing, ethnicity, and construction of the deviant child : Foucault and special education in Sweden

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Intelligence testing, ethnicity, and construction of the deviant child : Foucault and special education in Sweden

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Intelligence testing, ethnicity, and construction of the deviant child : Foucault and special education in Sweden
Author(s) Axelsson, Thom
Date 2016
English abstract
In this article, I discuss how Foucault may help us to reach a different understanding of special education. This article primarily draws on two analytical tools from Foucault’s ‘toolbox’: genealogy and governmentality. These tools are used to analyse three different cases of intelligence testing from the debate concerning the Swedish school organization in the early twentieth century. It is possible to see intelligence-quotient (IQ) testing as an overarching tool for controlling social behaviour. Intelligence-quotient testing was an important tool of power, with the aim of establishing certain regimes of truth on a societal as well as on an individual level. This article shows through a Foucauldian analysis that we should be careful in interpreting this entirely as an expression of state power from above or as different experts’ intentions. Rather, by using a genealogical approach, we can attempt to (re)write the history of interpretations, or problematizations, and then we can utilize a perspective of governmentality that focuses on the techniques and their effects.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15845/njsr.v7i0.900 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Lillehammer University College
Host/Issue Nordic Journal of Social Research;special issue
Volume 7
ISSN 1892-2783
Pages 14
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) IQ testing
genealogy
governmentality
Foucault
special education
Sweden
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
SCB::Educational Sciences
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/20518 (link to this page)

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