Assembling workers as learners : rethinking VET reforms in advanced liberal Australia

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2008
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- The utility of an analytics of governmentality perspective, based on the later work of Foucault and other writers on governmentality, is argued for to rethink vocational education and training reform programmes in Australia and learning in organisations. It foregrounds the assembling of a new subjectivity of the worker as learner in the industry, industrial relations and vocational education and training reform programmes over the past three decades within a shift from social liberal to advanced liberal regimes governing workers in Australia. This PhD by publication assembles eight publications and a linking essay into three key themes: Theme 1 - The utility of an analytics of governmentality perspective for researching vocational education and training reforms and work and learning in organisations argues that this perspective is a useful intellectual resource for researching vocational education and training reforms and work and learning in organisations and focuses on the technologies of power, enterprise governance and liberal styles of government. Theme 2 - Assembling advanced liberal regimes of governing workers as learners, contributes to rethinking vocational education and training reforms in Australia and the linkages to learning in organisations. The focus is on five interconnected and overlapping domains: problematisations (of the skilled worker in the discourses of national competitiveness); ethos of government (neoliberal and neo-social liberal mentalities of governing); modes of reasoning (human resource management; new public management and human capital); technologies and techniques (technologies of accounting and auditing; contracts and the technologies of training, particularly the learning organisation and competency standards) and the formation and shaping of identities (the worker as learner). Theme 3 - Technologies of training - The learning organisation and competency standards provides an original way of thinking about the learning organisation and competency standards. Further, it illustrates the strength of an analytics of governmentality perspective in a local site, child protection agencies in NSW in the 1990s at a time of “crisis”. The essay concludes with raising my own doubled subjectivity - of the contemporary academic and enterprising PhD student, the enterprising worker as learner, framed in the historical circumstances of Australia and the globalising disciplinary communities of contemporary corporatised universities.
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