Authority is Relational: Rethinking Educational Empowerment
Author: Charles Bingham
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Release Date: September 18, 2009
Written in an accessible and personal style, this innovative study of authority in education examines scenarios of authority in ways that problematize, augment, and redefine prevalent ideas of how it works. Usually seen as a thing that people have, the author suggests that authority should be understood instead as a relation that happens between people, which gets enacted in circuits where each participant has a role to play; those circuits can include teachers, students, the books they read, as well as former teachers and former students. Drawing on ideas from psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, philosophy of language, and the work of Jacques Derrida and Paulo Freire, the book offers a useful new understanding of authority in education.