Citizenship education, policy, and the educationalization of educational research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this essay, Naomi Hodgson reconsiders the value of Michel Foucault’s normalization thesis to the study of educationalization in relation to contemporary educational policy and research. Hodgson begins by analyzing educational researchers’ response to the recent introduction of citizenship education in England, focusing specifically on a review of research, policy, and practice in this area commissioned by the British Educational Research Association (BERA). She argues that the BERA review exemplifies the field of education policy sociology in that it is conducted according to the concepts of its parent discipline of sociology but lacks critical theoretical engagement with them. Instead, such work operationalizes sociological concepts in service of educational policy solutions. Hodgson identifies three dominant discourses of citizenship education within the BERA review— the academic discourse of education policy sociology, contemporary political discourse, and the discourse of inclusive education — and draws attention to the relation of citizenship education to policy initiatives, and thus to educationalization. She then discusses Foucault’s concept of normalization in terms of the demand on the contemporary subject to orient the self in a certain relation toward learning informed by the need for competitiveness in the European and global context. Ultimately, Hodgson concludes that the language and rhetoric of education policy sociology implicate such research in the process of educationalization itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-434
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2008


  • Citizenship
  • Education
  • Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Citizenship education, policy, and the educationalization of educational research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this