Free-Range Children

  • Malin Ideland
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment book series (PSEE)


The chapter problematizes how a neoliberal ideology organizes Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) and the figuration of the eco-certified child. The chapter illuminates how the individual choice is elevated in the sustainability discourse, and how individuals become accountable for solving global problems. The focus of individual choices is understood from Foucault’s theories on pastoral power: how ESE operates through describing humankind as in need of salvation. This is done through pointing out the individual as responsible for not only oneself, but also the “flock.” As well, the use of numbers is problematized: how tables, footprints, and numerical comparisons make different ways of handling sustainability problems possible respectively impossible. The chapter ends with emphasizing the need for politicizing the individualism in ESE.


Pastoral power Neoliberalism Sustainability discourse 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malin Ideland
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and SocietyMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden

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