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Information) Technologies of the Self: Personalization as a mode of subjectivation and knowledge production.

Journal article
Authors Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt
Published in E-learning and Digital Media
Volume 4
Issue 9
Pages 409-422
ISSN 2042-7530
Publication year 2012
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 409-422
Language en
Keywords personalisation IT self-government learning management systems
Subject categories Pedagogy, Learning


Personalisation has increasingly become a concern in policy making, public service, information technology (IT) provision and academic traditions. This article is concerned with how personalisation and personalised learning are suggested to reform Swedish higher education. The empirical material is official documents from the Swedish policy process of flexible education from 1998 onwards, including the universities’ replies to these proposals and the following government bill. Moreover, material on learning management systems from public instances has been included. Personalisation is regarded as part of a contemporary intensified mode of governing that makes use of liberal powers and self-government, where individuals are governed and preferably govern themselves through IT-based modes of learning. Specifically, the article examines how personalisation – as a mode of subjectivation inscribed in Swedish education policies – is constituted by two particular and intertwined technologies of government: the IT-based learning environment and self-technologies. The author’s argument is that this creates a productive and personalised apparatus, made possible through ethical self-constitution in IT-mediated learning environments and an ideal performative knowledge production. Questions are raised about the possible limitations of the social and informational action of such an apparatus, and risks of exposure and connectivity in these self-governable learning environments.

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