Intelligence as a power device

Luísa Saavedra About the author


The objective of the present study is to understand the individual and social inscription of discourses used by students from different social class positions to explain their academic achievement. Nineteen Portuguese students, from the 11th grade, with high academic performance and from the working class and upper class, in northern Portugal, were interviewed. Foucauldian Discourse Analysis points to the importance of class position in the construction of the subjects with respect to their concept of intelligence and academic success. Intelligence works as a power device that regulates the relations among subjects of different social classes.

Social class; Discourse; Effort; Intelligence.

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