The Ancient Mariner Speaks

Examining Regimes of Truth in ADHD

By Marion Stordy  

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The number of children labelled ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) has been on the increase since the term entered common medical parlance thirty years ago. Through a deeply personal narrative and an analysis of Michel Foucault’s theories on truth, power and knowledge, The Ancient Mariner Speaks argues that the ADHD label has contributed to the pathologizing of children’s, particularly boys’, behaviour and the further marginalization and exclusion, rather than inclusion, of students in the classroom.

“It is beautifully written. The narrative with which it begins is honest and compelling. The author uses her own personal experiences to set the stage and draw the reader into an insightful and impressively coherent Foucauldian analysis of the ADHD label … that I suspect will make Foucault accessible, possibly for the first time, to many readers.”

— Dorothy Pawluch, Sociology, McMaster University

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  • Introduction: The Ancient Mariner Speaks
  • The Narrative
  • Exploring a Life: Illuminating a Culture
  • Criticism, Challenge, Confrontation and Conflict
  • Governmentality, Schooling and Subjectivity
  • Discourses and the Pursuit of Truth in ADHD
  • Conclusion
  • Epilogue: Ben Stordy
  • References


  • Marion Stordy

    MARION STORDY has a master of education from the University of Prince Edward Island and is a retired teacher and the grandmother of a boy labelled ADHD.

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