Care as technology for exclusion

Power operating in jurors’ talk about admission tests to Swedish music teacher education


  • Monica Lindgren University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Ragnhild Sandberg-Jurström Karlstad University, Sweden
  • Olle Zandén University of Gothenburg, Sweden


In this article, we explore and problematise admission tests to specialist music teacher education in Sweden from a governing perspective, where higher music education is considered a discursive practice. It illustrates how power operates in legitimating the tests. The study uses stimulated recall in jury members’ talk about assessing applicants for music teacher education programmes, and uses Foucault’s concept of governmentality to reveal entrance tests as something regarded as generally good for all. This operating discourse is built on governmental rationality and processes that make it possible to reach conclusions about the applicants’ personalities and prospects for learning and developing in the future. Through care as technology of power, failing applicants are excluded from becoming music teachers and at the same time they are rescued from struggling in the future. The results are discussed in relation to issues of democratic music education, ethics and requirements for widened access to higher music education.

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How to Cite

Lindgren, M., Sandberg-Jurström, R., & Zandén, O. (2021). Care as technology for exclusion: Power operating in jurors’ talk about admission tests to Swedish music teacher education . Nordic Research in Music Education, 2(2), 58–73.



Original Articles


admission tests, governmentality, music teacher education, subject positioning, technology og power