Building imperfect democracies. Conjectures on images of childhood, biopolitic dispositifs and pedagogical-didactic knowledge


  • Elena Luciano
  • Andrea Giacomantonio


This essay presents, within a broader research program, three sets of conjectures relating to the intertwining of childhood images, biopolitic dispositifs and pedagogic and educational research activities. In the first set of conjectures, some peculiarities of both the market and the democratic approaches to early childhood education are examined, and some characteristics of the possible images of the child and childhood are illustrated relating to the two
approaches. The second set of conjectures shows, through a circumstantial reasoning, how the proposal of a democratic approach, which arises as a critical response to the market approach, potentially could contribute to the legitimisation of neoliberal biopolitical governmentality.
Finally, the last set of conjectures indicates, although cautiously and for the purpose of illustration, one of the ways to escape biopolitical governmentality: rethinking the categories that inform politics and education in order to move towards the resolution of the schism between bare life and form-of-life.