In a recent analysis of anglophone scholarship, Baker and Heyning considered both where and when Foucault’s name was made to live and also analyzed the kinds of work such naming has performed, i.e., the substantive claims made in the name of or through Foucault. In regard to where and when, the most marked uptake of Foucault occurred in the second half of the 1990s in the humanities and social sciences, with the field of philosophy indexing the earliest discussions of his work.
Three predominant uses of Foucault in education appeared:
- historicization and philosophizing projects with relativization emphases (a more “problematizing” Foucault).
- denaturalization projects without overt historical emphases and with diversity emphases (a more “sociological” Foucault).
- critical reconstruction projects with solution emphases (a more “administrative” Foucault).
This paper takes off from Baker and Heyning’s survey of anglophone uses of Foucault by examining substantive examples of such recombinatorial approaches to Foucault and the plateaus they serve. It will suggest that specific responses to Foucault’s work at the turn of the twenty‐first century are sustained in part by historical propensities in the field to a) scientize and template theoretical frameworks, b) normalize‐govern particular approaches as standardized methodology amid swirling and recombinatorial tendencies, and c) carve out moralistic dualisms around their utility.