The new educational pastorate: link workers, pastoral power and the pedagogicalisation of parenting

Article


Fretwell, N. 2020. The new educational pastorate: link workers, pastoral power and the pedagogicalisation of parenting. Genealogy. 4 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4020037
TypeArticle
TitleThe new educational pastorate: link workers, pastoral power and the pedagogicalisation of parenting
AuthorsFretwell, N.
Abstract

Home-school relations, home learning and parental engagement are prominent educational policy issues, constituting one aspect of a wider parenting support agenda that has suffused the landscape of social policy over the last two decades. This article examines a parenting support initiative distinctive for its use of link workers in mobilising ‘hard to reach’ parents to engage more effectively with their children’s education. Drawing on qualitative data gathered during the evaluation of the initiative, the article frames link worker–parent interactions as a form of everyday government and pastoral power. Link workers constitute a new educational pastorate; through friendship, care and control they exercise pastoral power over parents. Building on recent research into the role of ‘pastors’ in producing neoliberal subjectivities within the National Health Service, the article foregrounds their efforts to foster responsible, self-disciplined agency in parents. Link workers, it is argued, contribute to a responsibilisation and pedagogicalisation of the family, which has produced new figures of mothering/parenting, reconfigured the meaning of the home and extended the scope of state intervention into family life.

Keywordslink workers; parental engagement; pastoral power; governmentality; Foucault; pedagogicalisation; responsibilisation
PublisherMDPI
JournalGenealogy
ISSN2313-5778
Publication dates
Online31 Mar 2020
PrintJun 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Apr 2020
Accepted29 Jan 2020
Submitted30 Sep 2019
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
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Copyright Statement

© 2020 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Additional information

This article belongs to the Special Issue Reimagining ‘Childhood, Motherhood, Family and Community’

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4020037
Web of Science identifierWOS:000617486100004
LanguageEnglish
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