Schooling policies and governmentality in the schemes of cognitive capitalism: a preliminary diagnostic

Roberto Rafael Dias da Silva About the author

This essay intends to present a preliminary diagnostic of the schooling policies and governmentality produced by the political and economic schemes at the present stage of capitalist development. Based on a review of the modes of constitution of schooling policies produced by the modern state, it becomes of interest, drawing from the Foucauldian studies of the late 1970s, to characterize the different strategies that regulate mass schooling processes created since the 18th century, and to diagnose the multiple shifts that have taken place in contemporary political agendas. From a sociological reading, some of the changes in the educational meanings made by the industrial society are presented, in the direction of a flexible and interactive education. It is understood here that the conditions for cognitive capitalism, such as this scenario has been named by Italian neo-Marxist economists, suggest a scenario in which knowledge assumes the role of a vector of innovations and productive dynamics, destabilizing the model of the industrial plant and dematerializing labor relations. Schooling policies are then driven by optimizing technologies that emphasize conducting the schooling subjects to higher levels of performance, and propose the qualification of their performances within the contemporary schemes. Such diagnostic can be the starting point for a re-signification of research agendas in the critical studies of education.

Schooling policies; Governmentality; Cognitive capitalism


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