Document Type

Book Chapter


This chapter sets out a way of interrogating the familiar in schooling through the application of an ethics of discomfort. To do this we draw on research related to a study of people in Australia and the United States who work to support LGBTI identified students in high school settings (Rasmussen, 2003). An ethics of discomfort is used to consider one of the findings of this research, that is, the tendency to conflate LGBTI adolescence with woundedness in educational discourses. First, we elaborate on how we conceive of Foucault's ethics of discomfort and consider how this ethics can be informed by his suggestion that "everything is dangerous" (Foucault, 1997c: 256). Here we suggest that these two Foucaultian notions can be employed to inform the study of schoolings' poorly known horizons. To illustrate this point we analyze "horror stories" produced in relation to LGBTI adolesence. We then discuss how an ethics of discomfort can be applied to an interrogation of these "horror stories" by scrutinizing repetition and thaumaturgy as processes that make the poorly known comfortable.