Unges frie valg om uddannelse

Therese Bunnage

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis examines how the choice of education has become a matter of the state rather than a personal matter, and how this affects the individual’s ethic relation to self. The thesis deals with governmentality and conduct of conduct by critically examining established ‘truths’ that support education for all as a solution to political issues in the years 1993 to 2011.
1993 marks an important break with the rationality if education when the Danish Minister of Education at that time challenged the established educational system, particularly vocational educations, and its failure to motivate and educate young people to a changeable labour market. The solution became a rethinking of the entire vocational educational system, by adjusting to the needs of the labour market and differentiating to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to complete an education. In 2011 the Danish Minister at the time marked another important break with the rationality of education, stating that all young people must have an education. The shift in rationality of education meant, that state intervention was made possible in the choice if education. At the same time, the new rationality prescribes the nature of thought, speech and action and defines valid knowledge and established truths. When these truths are transformed into individual self-practice, they contribute to an intervention in the individual’s inner self relating, the ethic relation to self.
The established truths are the results of strategic government, that makes the individual govern oneself. The thesis analyses political strategy in regards to vocational education. The analysis shows how political intervention is legitimated by problematizing a lack of vocational training places, the rationality being, that incentives and demands make everyone able to complete an education.
In the process, companies, schools, students etc. are made responsible. Furthermore, a rationality of normality is created in the subject, that produces a wish and a need for completing an education and obtaining a vocational training. The individual thereby takes on a certain identity. This governmentality builds on a belief, that if individuals choose to deviate from ’the normal’, the circumstances of the choice have been wrong. The central and paradoxical nature of the government thus becomes to establish a sufficiently enlightened foundation for the choice, which in turn means that the individual’s free choice will take a certain form.
The thesis concludes how a new rationality of education develops, that prescribes ’better’ education. In this rationality the individual’s conduct of conduct is central. Ultimately the question becomes, where does this rationality leave the objective of 95 percent and the group of young people that don’t live up to the current demands? And what is the role of the state and the individual?

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages70
SupervisorsErik Caparros Højbjerg