Fabricating neoliberal subjects through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

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Neoliberalised capitalism, defined by flux and insecurity, engenders fear and anxiety. These affective dispositions discipline responsible citizens towards constant self-managing for capital appreciation. This chapter aims to understand the contours of neoliberal governmentality through the situated examination of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), a 50-year-old diploma organised by a Swiss non-profit and implemented in schools all over the world. We draw on data obtained from a one-year ethnographic engagement with the IBDP offered by a private international school located in Barcelona (Spain), as part of its attempt to gain distinctive advantage in the local marketplace and attract transnational families. The analysis centres on (1) the examination of the IB learner profile, a key discursive artefact encapsulating the programme’s neoliberal rationality; and (2) the disciplining techniques put in place to enforce student self-transformation. We argue that the original IB humanist-liberal philosophy of educating the whole person has enabled a neoliberal co-optation of the programme. IB-commodified selves are protoworkers anxious to outperform in all aspects, brilliant academically but also excellent self-carers and disciplined affective selves. We show how the IBDP is a clear example of the dispersed, destatised and elitising forms of social governance prevalent under the neoliberal regime.
Idioma originalEnglish
Títol de la publicacióLanguage and Neoliberal Governmentality
EditorsLuisa Martín Rojo, Alfonso Del Percio
Lloc de publicacióLondon and New York
Nombre de pàgines27
ISBN (electrònic)9780429286711
ISBN (imprès)978-1-138-57522-6
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2020

Sèrie de publicacions

NomLanguage, Society and Political Economy


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