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Reading: On ‘emotional education’: subjectivity and psychologization in late modernity


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On ‘emotional education’: subjectivity and psychologization in late modernity


Mariana Nobile

Investigadora Adjunta del CONICET con sede en FLACSO Argentina Profesora de Sociología de la Educación, FaHCE-UNLP, AR
About Mariana

Doctora en Ciències Socials, FLACSO Argentina; Màster en Sociologia de la Cultura i Anàlisi Cultural, IDAES-UNSAM; Llicenciada en Sociologia, FaHCE-UNLP. Investigadora Adjunta del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de Argentina (CONICET) amb seu en el Programa Educación, Conocimiento y Sociedad del Área de Educación de FLACSO Argentina. Professora de Sociologia de l’Educació, FaHCE-UNLP. Membre de l’equip editorial de la Revista Propuesta Educativa. Ha obtingut les beques doctorals i postdoctoral CONICET; va fer estades postdoctorals a l’Université Catholique de Louvaine-la-Neuve (Bèlgica) i a la Universitér Paris V Descartes (França). Actualment dirigeix el projecte de recerca“Mérito e ideología meritocrática en la educación secundaria argentina: la legitimación de los procesos de desigualdad socioeducativa”, finançat per l’Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica de Argentina. Les seves línies de recerca són: els vincles entre docents i alumnes a l’escola secundària i la seva relació amb el formato escolar; la dimensió emocional de l’experiència escolar i la seva incidència en els processos d’inclusió escolar i en els relats biogràfics dels estudiants.

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This paper analyzes a series of discourses that promote the so called "emotional education", which rely on contributions from positive psychology, theories of intelligence and emotional competences. This inquiry enables exploration of the type of subject these discourses seek to shape, the characteristics and abilities promoted among students, as well as the way emotions are conceived and manners to deal with them. The paper hypothesizes that these discourses are part of what some authors refer to as "therapeutic ethos", which postulates that through knowing and managing one's emotions it is possible to take advantage of them in order to achieve success and emotional well-being. Additionally, this paper holds the view that by focusing on the individual and the development of specific competences, these approaches leave in the shadows institutional, socioeconomic and cultural conditions, therefore overlooking the relational nature of individuals’ emotions, both in general and in educational settings in particular. The paper concludes with a series of questions about the relationship between these approaches and the implications of their implementation when working with children and young people, as well as about their connection with processes of socio-educational inequality.

How to Cite: Nobile, M., (2017). On ‘emotional education’: subjectivity and psychologization in late modernity. Digithum. (20). DOI:
Published on 01 Jul. 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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