Publication Details

Stirling, J. & Percy, A. (2005). Truth games/truth claims : resisting institutional notions of LAS as remediation. Language and Academic Skills Conference 2005: Critiquing and reflecting: LAS profession and practice (pp. 177-187). Canberra, ACT.: Australian National University Press.

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Language and Academic Skills Conference


Michel Foucault argues that the technologies of identity – whether professional or institutional – rely on what he calls ‘games of truth’. He argues that these truth games comprise ‘an ensemble of rules for the production of truth . . . which can be considered in function of its principles and its rules of procedure as valid or not’ (cited in Gauthier, 1988, p. 15). Moreover, we can only become subjects by ‘subjecting’ ourselves to selected truth games because there is neither selfhood nor truth outside of these games. For Foucault, the subject’s power in this process is to decide on what terms to play the game. By examining the ‘truths’ of LAS practices and engaging in an examination of common assumptions about our practice, particularly the institutional view of LAS centres as sites of remediation and of LAS practitioners as remedial teachers, this paper will explore ways of opening up new spaces for thinking about and theorising the work that we do. The authors will argue that this needs to be an ongoing process if we are to take responsibility for (re)inventing ourselves. We see this paper contributing to current discussion about LAS professional identity.