Barnet: Mellem magt og kreativitet

Jakob Kvist

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study takes place on the crossroads of different domains such as philosophy, education, economics, social sciences and history. This happens through an examination of changes in the conception of childhood since ancient Greek times. Through a preliminary analysis founded on a historical methodology this study seeks out different appearances of childhood in Western history. Based on these discoveries the investigator will shed new light on the current ongoing reformation of the Danish public school system that is pushing an agenda of increased time spent in school by children. Furthermore this study analyses the new school reformation as a step in the evolution of capitalism vis-a-vis its indoctrination of a flexible workforce. Such a perspective is achieved by analysing how capitalism penetrates the being of the child and thereby creates a narrative about the child which appears as ‘natural’. By drawing upon the works of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, it will prove possible to see our time from a problematic perspective. Such an understanding enables one to consider the school system’s inherent production of subjects in danger of developing stress and burnouts. These pathologies become evident from the consequences of employee development conversations which the study analyses as an extension of the public school system. Ultimately, this study is not a Marxist critique who claims that capitalism is reducing children to objects. Rather it claims that capitalism institutionalizes marketability in children. On the basis of the above this study develops an alternative concept of the child. This alternative is developed by using the Danish philosopher Ole Fogh Kirkeby’s concept of the event. By combining Kirkeby’s thoughts with the educational field it is possible to create the concept of ‘event pedagogy’. The researcher underpins that his concept is essential when seeking to moments of contingency in the new school system and in our time, but that are trying to be controlled. The study will conclude with a recommendation that children are treated as events to manage the many different dangers which appear in our time.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages81