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Disruptive FixationSchool Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism$
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Christo Sims

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163987

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163987.001.0001

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Amenable and Fixable Subjects

Amenable and Fixable Subjects

(p.111) 5 Amenable and Fixable Subjects
Disruptive Fixation

Christo Sims

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how reformers imagined subjects that would be amenable to and fixable with their intervention in comparison with the ways that students negotiated identification and difference with each other at school and online. It considers how problematization and rendering technical processes produce amenable and fixable subjects, how these intended beneficiaries exert unanticipated pressures on a philanthropic intervention, and how the reformers tend to respond to such pressures in rather retrograde ways. In the case of the Downtown School for Design, Media, and Technology, reformers imagined the project's intended beneficiaries as digital kids, a population that presumably would be especially amenable to the intervention's focus on gaming and new media production. The chapter also discusses assembling of affinities and divisions among amenable and fixable subjects, conditions of sanctioned nonconformity, crossing of boundaries, and identities-in-practice in relation to subject fixations.

Keywords:   problematization process, rendering technical process, amenable and fixable subjects, Downtown School, educational reform, media technology, digital kids, sanctioned nonconformity, boundaries, identities

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