Separatist biopolitics: the dual discourse of the vocational education policy in Israel

Separatist biopolitics: the dual discourse of the vocational education policy in Israel

By: Haybi Barak M., Shoshana A.
Published in: Journal of Vocational Education and Training
SDGs : SDG 04  |  Units: Education  | Time: 2020 |  Link
Description: This article offers a critical discursive analysis of the Israeli Ministry of Education’s renewed interest in vocational education. This analysis reveals three discursive practices for promoting vocational education among key participants in the field: the rhetorical transition from ‘vocational education’ to ‘technological education’; the disregard for the tracking involved in vocational education; the government’s refusal to collect or publish statistics on the ethnic and class composition of vocational schools; and a dual discourse that refers to vocational education students as ‘at-risk youth’ whose needs are minimal, to guarantee them a ‘routine’ life (‘being a person’) based on the morality of low expectations. Technological education, is described as populated by students who are the elite of excellence, promising them a rich life, an open future, and the acquisition of ‘tomorrow’s professions.’ Against this background, we proffer the term ‘separatist biopolitics’ to characterise the contemporary vocational education policy in Israel. Separatist biopolitics, offering divergent positive results (‘the good life’) to disadvantaged students (vocational education students) and elitist students (technological education students), is a tool for population management. The concept of separatist biopolitics also proposes adopting a critical reading of the vocational education policy to promote the consideration of alternative educational solutions. © 2020, © 2020 The Vocational Aspect of Education Ltd.

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