Conversation as Pedagogy: The Use of Popular Stories in the Identity Projects of Law Students

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Biopolitics and Resistance in Legal Education


When students enter law school, they embody the intersection between law and culture, and law school can become a site of biopolitical engagement where the competing discourses of law seek to contest, define, and control the transformation of student identity. Interestingly, students are extremely active in the process of adjudicating between these discourses via their positioning within a contemporary culture of story consumption (and telling). Taking advantage of this positioning, I argue that legal educators have the potential to positively work towards the constitution of students who are critical, reflective, and depoliticised subjectivities. This chapter seeks to explore the extent to which law school can (and should) explicitly nurture biopolitical engagement within student constructions of identity. It will argue that when students actively recognise and engage in the re(construction) of stories within their own realities, they are catalysed to stimulate ethical awareness, critical reflexivity, and subjective attentiveness. The chapter suggests pedagogical initiatives that will allow students to not only examine the practices that constitute subjectivities and maintain oppressive social conditions, but also help facilitate the development of their ethical and biopolitically aware sensibilities.

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