Biopedagogical assemblages: Exploring school drug education in action

Deana Leahy, Peta Malins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Public health ?perspectives? position school-based drug education as a key site whereby public health imperatives can be brought to life through the ?empowerment? of young people to take charge of their bodies to ensure their own good health. Foucauldian governmentality scholarship has been extremely useful in the task of critically examining these attempts to govern the population?s health and drug use, drawing attention to the ways in which classrooms function as biopedagogical spaces where particular sorts of knowledge and truth are mobilized to produce subjects who are rational, autonomous, and ?empowered? to make the ?right? healthy, drug-free choices. Although the work of Foucault has helped in drawing attention to expert knowledges, discourses, and truths that operate in the production of ?healthy? subjectivity, it has been less useful for exploring the affective, desiring, and embodied aspects of school drug education or for examining its potential side effects, including its impacts on bodily capacities, social relations, and empathy. In this article, then, we draw on the work of Deleuze and Guattari to build on and supplement these governmental approaches: to consider what actually happens, affectively, in classrooms when drug education biopedagogies are put into motion, and what implications this has for embodied relations beyond the classroom. We argue that by attending to the affective, desiring, and embodied aspects of school drug education, we get a more nuanced sense of the broader impacts of school drug education: how it functions as a biopolitical site and how it might affect upon health and well-being in ways not considered by discourses of public health nor those of governmentality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)398 - 406
    Number of pages9
    JournalCultural Studies <-> Critical Methodologies
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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