EDUCATING THE FREELANCER – Employability in Scottish Educational Policy and Art & Design Students

Employability is pervasive in current educational policy and practice with very little consideration to where the concept emanates from or how it shapes individuals’ subjectivity. Taking a realist governmentality approach, this paper utilises critical discourse analysis examining both the governmental discourse of policy and the discourse of those it looks to govern, in this case Scottish further education art and design students. It finds that the creative ethos and the discourse of employability share similar beliefs in self-responsiblisation and meritocracy and that these are present in both policy and research participants’ discourse. However, the process of governmentality is complex and rational technocratic causation would over-simplify the messy, muddled social reality.