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Title: The government of disability in times of austerity : disability dispositif in Italian higher education
Author: Peruzzo, Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 6556
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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In these austere times, in which university seems to relentlessly shift​ from welfarism to neoliberalism; individualised risk encounters globalised markets; and incitement to inclusion clashes with competition and discourses of ableism, how are disabled students governed and self-governed in higher education in Italy? This thesis attempts to answer this question by developing a 'history of the present' of the experience of being disabled students in the Italian higher education. Drawing upon post-structural literature in critical disability studies, education policy and political theory, my thesis wages war to truths said on disability and disabled students, which become problematized as respectively ontologically given object and subjects of higher education. Foucault's dispositif as an analytical and methodological tool enables my endeavour, allowing to archaeologically explore the historical reasons that enabled disability to become a problem in higher education; to genealogically explore, through ethnographic methods, the micro-physics of power/knowledge in the government and self-government of disabled students in a university setting in the north of Italy; and to show how the given institutional order can be challenged, attempting to ethically rethink disabled subjectivities otherwise. In my study, inclusive integration emerges as the governmental state reason whereby the co-existence of welfarist and neoliberal practices animate government and self-government of disabled students in the Italian university. This reason challenges the centeredness of the subject of university, providing a provisional model to investigate the contingent truths that mobilise specific power/knowledge relations in the form of two technologies of autonomy and sensitivity, and that let three different disabled students' subjectivities emerge. However, this model can become an analytics to rethink modalities of being students in higher education through disabled students' accounts and their refusal of the ways in which they are made subjects. This thesis provides a historicised diagnostic of the present of disabled students in university, analytically identifying alternative forms of experiencing difference and limits in higher education. It allows to rethink the dichotomous division between structure and individual, state and citizen, policy and practice, opening up contingent solutions to the abjection of certain modalities of being in higher education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available