Governmentality and disciplinary power: exploring constitutional values and democratic citizenship education in post-1994 South Africa
The purpose of this study is to gain critical insights into how the constitutional values of democracy, Ubuntu and accountability (responsibility) (DoE, 2001) contribute toward constructing the envisioned citizen in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (DBE, 2012) Life Orientation Further Education and Training phase. In this study I construct a conceptual framework based on the Foucauldian concepts of governmentality and disciplinary power. In this regard, the concepts of discourse and power/knowledge are also considered. Since discourse informs the power/knowledge addressed and expressed in policy regarding constitutional values, a consideration of this concept assists to make sense of the type of governmentality present in policy. Following this, disciplinary power will show how these concepts work together to exercise power over citizens within state-sponsored schooling. I employ the conceptual framework in conjunction with critical policy analysis (CPA) as an analytical tool to analyse the White Paper on Education and Training (RSA, 1995), the Manifesto of values in education and democracy (DoE, 2001), and the National Development Plan: The vision 2030 (NPC, 2011). This analysis provides background for consideration on how the constitutional values of democracy, Ubuntu and accountability (responsibility) (DoE, 2001) are expressed in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (DBE, 2012) Life Orientation FET phase. The study is exploratory in nature and aims to consider how the constitutional values construct the envisioned citizen in the way in which these values are expressed and addressed in the policies, documents and curriculum policy statement considered. I argue that the participatory duty of a critical citizenry in a democratic dispensation could be pacified through state-sponsored schooling. For this reason, it is vital that citizens in state-sponsored schooling be equipped to critically engage with government’s articulation of constitutional values in policy and curriculum policy statements. For the healthy functioning of democracy, the citizen must be allowed to participate fully and critically. For example, creating a space in the curriculum for dialoguing and sharing stories of lived experiences could allow citizens to explore their roles and duties in a democratic dispensation that may go as far as establishing some sense of ownership for the individual and the collective. Foucault’s concepts provide critical considerations for how discourse, power/knowledge, governmentality and disciplinary power have the potential to create a more docile and compliant citizen which conflicts with the foundation values of democracy.