Non-formal education, personhood, and the corrosive power of neoliberalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which non-formal education is being corroded by neoliberal values. Given non-formal education is frequently used to develop young people’s notions of citizenship, and that non-formal education providers are increasingly forced to operate within the free-market paradigm, it is significant to consider what forms of personhood are being championed. Qualitative data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and observations with coaches and young people from a youth sports charity in the UK. Focusing on a core aspect of non-formal education – caring relationships (as understood by Nel Noddings and Carl Rogers) – the findings suggest that the quality of coaches’ care for young people was conditioned by the extent to which adolescents re-shaped their personhood to align with neoliberal values of individual responsibility and discipline. Thus, the meanings of ‘care’ and ‘good citizenship’ were corroded by a neoliberal rationality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Early online date4 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2018

Cite this

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title = "Non-formal education, personhood, and the corrosive power of neoliberalism",
abstract = "The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which non-formal education is being corroded by neoliberal values. Given non-formal education is frequently used to develop young people’s notions of citizenship, and that non-formal education providers are increasingly forced to operate within the free-market paradigm, it is significant to consider what forms of personhood are being championed. Qualitative data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and observations with coaches and young people from a youth sports charity in the UK. Focusing on a core aspect of non-formal education – caring relationships (as understood by Nel Noddings and Carl Rogers) – the findings suggest that the quality of coaches’ care for young people was conditioned by the extent to which adolescents re-shaped their personhood to align with neoliberal values of individual responsibility and discipline. Thus, the meanings of ‘care’ and ‘good citizenship’ were corroded by a neoliberal rationality.",
author = "{Costas Batlle}, Ioannis",
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AB - The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which non-formal education is being corroded by neoliberal values. Given non-formal education is frequently used to develop young people’s notions of citizenship, and that non-formal education providers are increasingly forced to operate within the free-market paradigm, it is significant to consider what forms of personhood are being championed. Qualitative data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and observations with coaches and young people from a youth sports charity in the UK. Focusing on a core aspect of non-formal education – caring relationships (as understood by Nel Noddings and Carl Rogers) – the findings suggest that the quality of coaches’ care for young people was conditioned by the extent to which adolescents re-shaped their personhood to align with neoliberal values of individual responsibility and discipline. Thus, the meanings of ‘care’ and ‘good citizenship’ were corroded by a neoliberal rationality.

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