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Hello Tim
Foucault was a observer of how bureaucratic hierarchy robs us of freedom & democracy. He is more relevant then ever because Post Modernity has us all under surveillance - video cameras everywhere and eavesdropping (wiretapping phones & e-mails [data mining]). The purpose is to intimidate & coerce us all.

Education is essentially about the power of bureaucratic hierarchy to intimidate & coerce. Nurses (as with all workers) work in institutionalized bureaucracy - the hospital. Those at the top levels of any hierarchy will use "mortification" to control workers (rob them of freedom). Those at the top of any bureaucracy, are only willing to accept compliant workers. Those who are not compliant are terminated.

Although I am not familiar with Goffman or the "vocational model," I don't believe anarchism (i.e. freedom) can exist within any institutional bureaucracy.

Posted by: Michael Hogan on Dec 20, 2008

Socialism As A Weltanschauung
Where does Foucault fit in with your critique of education? I am interested because entry onto the nursing register has only recently required a third level qualification in Ireland-it was based on a vocational model. It was argued, apparently using Goffman's ideas as a template, that the vocational model led to power asymmetrys that led to the mortification of the nursing student which socialised them into compliant nurses. In my experience this is based on anachronism and gendered nursing stereotypes (Nurse Ratchet). In my experience there was a strong anarchist undercurrent in the vocational model. It seems to me the Alma Mater is the real mother of mortification. What are your views on this ?

Posted by: Tim on Dec 20, 2008
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