Brison, “Teaching Neoliberal Emotions”

Brison, Karen J.  2016. Teaching Neoliberal Emotions through Christian Pedagogies in Fijian Kindergartens.  Ethos 44(2): 133-149.

Abstract: This article examines a Fijian kindergarten using Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), a curriculum produced by an American corporation for Christian homeschoolers, which combines academic and emotion pedagogies. Pedagogies prompting children to label, reflect on, and control their emotions are popular in American schools and said to develop skills necessary to be self-directed, risk-taking entrepreneurs under neoliberalism. In contrast, in Fiji, children educated with the ACE curriculum are told that feeling the correct emotions is a “commitment” and that submitting to authority will benefit everyone. The ACE curriculum appears to turn working-class American children and children in peripheral countries like Fiji into submissive workers in corporations while middle-class Euro-American children are socialized to become innovative entrepreneurs. But further examination shows that Fijian parents and teachers see the curriculum as giving their children the proper skills to succeed in a world outside of Fiji.

Brison, “Fijian and Papua New Guinean Pentecostal Missionaries”

Brison, Karen J.  2012.  Fijian and Papua New Guinean Pentecostal Missionaries.  Ethnology 51(2).

Abstract: Scholars argue that Christians from the Global south will shape world Christianity as they come to dominate demographically. Pentecostals speak of a shared kingdom culture and see transnational networks as flat and decentralized. But Pentecostal rhetoric often draws on Euro-American neoliberal theories of individual “mindset transformation” and corporate management and resonates with earlier colonial rhetoric. This suggests that Christians from the global south might embrace Euro-American ideas instead of offering a significantly different vision. This paper examines an independent Fijian Pentecostal church that sends Fijian and Papua New Guinean missionaries to several areas of the world. Shared kingdom culture is undermined when each local church transforms common ideology to construct a positive local identity. The same process undermines the dominance of Euro-American neoliberal and neocolonial ideas and constructs an imagined world community of Christians based on submission to local leaders rather than promoting individual entrepreneurialism and global hierarchies.