Challenging hegemony in education: specific parrhesiastic scholars, care of the self, and relations of power
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This dissertation explores how five specific intellectuals challenge hegemony in education and society, and express uncomfortable truths about hegemony faced by local communities in their academic practices. Their actions of free speech in regards to dangerous truths are similar to those of the ancient Greek parrhesiastes. This word, parrhesiastes, was used to describe the male citizen in ancient Greece, who had and used his rights to free speech or parrhesia. The activity of speaking freely, parrhesiazesthai, however, is not without its risks. Such speech is dangerous to the status quo, as well as the parrhesiastes. The activity is engaged despite the consequences and the parrhesiastes faces dangers and risks. It is argued that the five scholars who participated in this study are specific parrhesiastic scholars. They are specific intellectuals in their relations with academia, communities, and movements; and parrhesiastes in their actions to assure their rights to and exercise of freedom. While the ancient parrhesiastes served a critical and pedagogical role in transforming citizens to serve the best interests of the city, the specific parrhesiastic scholar, in the case of these five scholars, argues for changes in society for the benefit of citizens whose interests have been ignored or trampled. Foucault acknowledged that the work of specific intellectuals could benefit the state to the detriment of local communities or could work to transform the state to include the interests of specific communities. Specific parrhesiastic scholars choose the latter. The focus of this study is the intersection of technologies of the self with technologies of power. This intersection, which Foucault terms governmentality, comes closest to a utilitarian exploration of resistance to power and the formation of freedom, and understanding of how individuals negotiate their particular positions in truth games for resistance and freedom. The basic conditions necessary for parrhesiazesthai are "citizenship" and understanding the distinction between positive and negative forms of parrhesia. The parrhesiastic practices of the five scholars are explored through three analytical frames: (1) self-knowledge and resisting repression, seduction, and desire; (2) political activity and tactics; and (3) the self within systems of subjugation.
Huckaby, M. Francyne (2005). Challenging hegemony in education: specific parrhesiastic scholars, care of the self, and relations of power. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from