From risk to resilience—The therapeutic ethos in youth education

Article English OPEN
Brunila, Kristiina (2012)
  • Publisher: Education Inquiry
  • Journal: Education Inquiry (issn: 2000-4508, eissn: 2000-4508)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/edui.v3i3.22046
  • Subject: therapisation, young people, subjectification, discursive research

This article considers the rise of therapeutic education in Finland, a phenomenon already acknowledged in Europe, Canada and the United States. In Finland, the therapeutic ethos has been assimilated into educational policies and practices, but the shift to therapisation and especially its consequences have attracted little interest in critical educational research. This article is based on a Foucauldian discourse-analytic methodology and on a previous empirical study. It emphasises the effects of therapeutic interventions in education and focuses on project-based educational practices that deal with young adults who are on the margins of society. The central argument is that therapeutic interventions force young adults to focus more on themselves and lead to an internalisation of the idea that societal problems such as unemployment, a lack of education or criminal behaviour are in fact individual-based.Keywords: therapisation, young people, subjectification, discursive research(Published: 1 September 2012)Citation: Education Inquiry Vol. 3, No. 3, September 2012, pp. 451–464
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