This philosophical inquiry found its inspiration in how Judith Butler places a humanist notion of a “self” at the center of a problem for ethics, for its role in the constitution of its other(s) in a structure of address. This notion of a “self” is also what normative truths and realities currently lean into, and conversely support – ways of reading, speaking, feeling, thinking, being and knowing that are premised on this type of subject, foreclosing everything else.
It is a thesis that pursues two main interests: First, how may we most usefully imagine normative and framing functions of teachers reiterating educational discourse? And second, what might the way we reappropriate Butler’s concept of constitutive address mean for the possibility of allowing for less ethically violent ways of becoming in educational relations?
The issue is neither of specific norms nor specific effects to be countered, but of better grasping the underlying power of address and how our dependence on normative citationality implicates us all in the foreclosure of others’ lives and relations.
There are two parts, where the first one sets the stage. Three central discourses in teacher education are considered – reflection, psychology and social justice – to exemplify a shared function as demands students are addressed with. This part also concerns conversations with students about these aspects of their studies; drawing support from the work of Butler, but also Jacques Derrida, I develop an argument about performative writing – about how and why insert transcribed exchanges from these conversations throughout the thesis.
With added perspectives from other theorists, Butler’s concept of address is re-argued in the second part as a more complex, and ultimately unstable, dynamic, stretching her notion of framing and ethics to apply differently as well.
This thesis is concerned with how these re-conceptualizations may open up for ways to interrupt – through teacher education – how normativity and framing in educational address currently entail a blanket movement of ethical violence in the reiteration of humanism.