chapter  1
Pedagogy: the unsaid of socio- cultural theory
ByMEGAN WATKINS, GREG NOBLE
Pages 16

The formation of subjectivities has long been central to contemporary social and cultural theory. There has been substantial work across the Humanities, Social Sciences, and beyond, considering the ways in which various domains of the modern world shape minds and bodies by discursive and material means. Yet this work tends to emphasise already formed subjects or particular social and cultural effects which are seen to constitute classed, gendered and racialised subjects. The processes that produce, for example, these effects – or how forms of conduct are acquired through particular relations and practices across a range of settings – receive far less scrutiny. This book deploys the notion of ‘cultural pedagogies’ to recast the processes of subject formation, institutional conduct, cultural representation and human capacities as pedagogic practices of teaching and learning, broadly understood, which produce cumulative changes in how we act, think, feel and imagine. Existing work on critical and public pedagogies and the recent proliferation of work on ‘pedagogies of . . .’ (place, consumption and gender, for example) offer important starting points, but we believe a more comprehensive approach to cultural forms of pedagogy is still needed, building on this work and pushing it in new directions. The imperative to better understand relations of teaching and learning across social sites has been intensified by claims about the increasing pedagogisation of everyday life. Basil Bernstein (2001: 364) has famously argued that we now live in a ‘totally pedagogised society’ in which: governments, media, workplaces and systems of higher education entail a socialisation characterised by endless learning in the ‘knowledge society’, compelling a capacity for ‘lifelong learning’ whenever and wherever. Recent interest in the ‘pedagogical state’ (Pykett 2010) has drawn further attention to the relationship between governance, citizenship, education and the array of sites, actors and practices through which citizen subjectivities are formed and managed. The notion of cultural pedagogies, we argue, helps us understand pedagogy in both broader and more grounded ways, engaging with a range of social spaces, relations, routines and discourses, and encouraging reflection on the wider ‘educative’ functions of cultural practices, or what Raymond Williams referred to as ‘permanent

education’, ‘the educational force (éducation as distinct from enseignement) of our whole social and cultural experience’ (1966: 15). Connecting recent claims about the pedagogisation of everyday life to older discourse on the ‘educational force’ of social experience – before Williams we could cite writers like Georg Simmel or Thorstein Veblen, and contemporary with him writers like Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser – is itself an important reply to some of the temporal certainties underlying claims about the pedagogisation of life in general. In this chapter we want to grapple with the idea of ‘pedagogy’ by first considering the pedagogical imperative of contemporary theorising which attempts to foreground the pedagogic character of social life before articulating some of the key issues at stake in the notion of ‘cultural pedagogies’.