Governmentality and the sociology of education: Media, educational policy and the politics of resentment

Cameron McCarthy, Greg Dimitriadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that theorizations of the state which are sensitive to both its durability and its permeability, and theorizations which can account for the massive interconnections between local and global forces as well as different material and discursive sites are missing from contemporary work in the sociology of education. Drawing on Foucault's notion of 'governmentality' as a key resource for addressing this impose, the authors highlight the constant fabrication of racial identity through the production of the pure space of racial origins or 'resentment' - the process of defining one's identity through the negation of the other. This dynamic, the article maintains, now informs key discourses both in popular culture and education. The authors conclude that these processes operate in tandem in the prosecution of the politics of racial exclusion in our times, informing key policy debates, including those around affirmative action and bilingual education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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