Sibblis, C. (2014). expulsion programs as colonizing spaces of exception. Race, Gender & Class, 21(1/2), 64.
This essay engages with the themes of race, space and citizenship by examining one particular school board’s use of the expulsion program as a mechanism to efface, contain and oppress marked bodies. Using Mohanram’s concept of the Black Body, it discusses the construction and disciplining of black students in the school system, how they come to be known and how they represent risk. Drawing upon Foucault’s theory, it elucidates how power functions in the structure of expulsion programs, and argues that these programs are both the results and sites of the Canadian educational system’s oppressive practices. Anchored by statistics showing that Black male students are excluded from school at rates that exceed their representation in the school population, this work examines the hierarchy of race and gender in school discipline, focusing specifically on racialized Black students and their production as raced and subjugated subjects in and through these carceral spaces. Using both a theoretical and empirical approach, it engages a spatial analysis raising questions about the discursive space of the expulsion programs and schools at large and how power is organized within; the dialectical relationship between space and bodies; and the concurrent construction of excluded identities. Focusing on the “Proactive” expulsion program which requires the prediction of risk, the argument I undertake is that these programs epitomize Agamben’s concept of the state of exception and that the bodies contained therein are quintessential homo sacer.
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