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Governing through non/recognition: the missing 'R' in the PLAR for immigrant professionals in Canada and Sweden

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Despite claims that prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) can act as a transformative social mechanism and a means of social inclusion, this study reports that PLAR has become a serious barrier to adult learning rather than a facilitator. Drawing from Foucault's concept of governmentality, the study examines the difficulties that immigrant professionals have experienced in having their foreign credentials and work experience recognized in the contexts of Canada and Sweden. Using document analysis and interviews, the study analyses how PLAR has created a system of governing through technologies of power and technologies of the self which work as dividing practices in discounting and devaluating immigrants' prior learning and work experience. The study concludes that PLAR has become a technical exercise and a governing tool rather than a form of social transformation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Linkoping University, Sweden 2: University of Calgary, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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