Social Order, Regimes of Truth and Symbolic Disputes: A Framework to Analyse Educational Policies

  • Héctor Monarca
  • Noelia Fernández-González
  • Ángel Méndez-Núñez
Keywords: social science, political theory, social order, regimes of truth, symbolic disputes, educational policies


This article offers an epistemological framework to analyse how hegemony is constructed in the field of education, as part of current debates in the social sciences on the aperture and closure of the social. Our central thesis is that, beyond the post-structuralist tendency that dominates these debates, we must reconsider the potential effects of its theoretical assumptions on the social world, i.e. not only on its representation, but also on its structures, subjects, objects, and phenomena in general. To that end, we will analyse by the way of example the discourses on quality of education, core in education policies since 1980s, from this epistemological framework. Moreover, this type of discourses also allowed the instituted powers to connect the traditional forms of production and reproduction of ‘the social’ to new forms that help consolidate its hegemony by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the ways to produce and accumulate capital, and thus legitimize them. Indeed, as a framework, quality had and still has a totalizing effect on the hegemonic re-adjustment and re-working of capitalism that began in the late 1970s.
Law, Nation, Education