Discourse Power Resistance 5
“Research as a Subversive Activity”
20 – 22 April 2006
Manchester Metropolitan University , UK
University of Huddersfield
Revisiting Braverman: the labour process in further education
Using Braverman’s Labour and Monopoly Capital as a reference point, this work in progress explores the changing labour process of teachers in further education (FE) colleges in England and locates it within a political and economic framework. Whilst acknowledging the impact of structural and economic change this research attempts to link structure with action in order to understand daily experience under changing and pressured circumstances. In order to do this a case study approach is used with the lived experience of teachers examined through qualitative methods using interviews, focus groups and ethnographic data.
The central theme is an examination of the impact upon teaching and learning of growing attempts to control, monitor and redirect teacher labour and the increasing focus upon their cost and performance. Although there is now an extensive body of literature on the diminished circumstances of FE teachers, particularly since the removal of colleges from local authority control, this work particularly considers the consequences for and the impact upon teachers’ work in the classroom under the ongoing commercialisation, managerialism and recessionary circumstances prevalent in FE. As part of this, teacher strategies and the potential to resist or subvert attempts to reshape their labour process are considered.