Olympism, Constructivism and Foucault’s Technologies of Power: Governmentality at Work


  • Ian Culpan New Zealand Centre for Olympic Studies, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)


Olympism, Foucault, Pedagogy, Constructivism


This article draws on the works of Foucault to analyse how the philosophy of Olympism and the utilisation of constructivist pedagogies creates examples of governmentality and the technology of power (self) in action. The scholarly call for having Olympism education embedded in school physical education highlights how schools can perpetuate the production of docile bodies. The article emphasises how individuals, subscribing to mechanisms of power, which encourage individuals and collectives to lead particular forms of life, are dominated by self-regulation, self-control and self- discipline. The article concludes by arguing the convergence of Olympism and critical constructivism might mitigate against such dominant normalising attempts at governmentality and encourage learners to develop alternative visions in their quest for a flourishing life.

Author Biography

Ian Culpan, New Zealand Centre for Olympic Studies, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

Ian Culpan is a full Professor of Physical Education and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Olympic Studies at the University of Canterbury New Zealand. He has a strong international profile, published widely with research interests in Olympism, Physical Education/Teacher Education and pedagogy.