What's love got to do with it?!: Teaching as a 'labour of love' and Ontario's 2012-13 labour disputes.

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Date
2015-09-01
Authors
Nadon, Jaclyn
Keyword
Labour , Feminist political economy , Education , Foucault , Historico-critical analysis , Teachers' unions , Ontario , Levinas , Teaching , Autonomy , Collectivity , Selflessness , Neoliberalism , Discourse , Care , Settler-colonialism , Motherhood , Love
Abstract
The following entails a “historico-critical” (Foucault [1984] 2010:46) analysis of the connection between teaching and love encapsulated in public, political and media discourses during the 2012-13 education labour disputes in Ontario, Canada. Examining the history of teaching as a ‘feminized’ profession within a capitalist, patriarchal, settler-colonial state, I suggest that discourses constituting teachers as selfless carers are intimately linked to visions of motherhood and white supremacy. Furthermore, I suggest that the concept of selfless love operates as a tool for depoliticization, used primarily against women and others within a society subsumed by neoliberal rhetoric. Ultimately, thinking outside of and working against this conception of love as something inherently selfless can help us elaborate a more egalitarian vision of love which values both autonomy and collectivity through an acknowledgement of Levinasian selfhood.
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