Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Andrew Vincent on "Ideology and the University"

. . . in the current issue of Political Quarterly (found here - subscription-only). An abstract:

"Ideology underpins recent transformations of British universities; it forms an unquestioned backdrop to policy-making. The ideology at issue is a market-based neo-liberalism—accompanied by a doctrinaire private-sector managerialism. Universities employing this ideology envision it as common sense. The ideology is thus not proselytised, but rather structures the vernacular of university speech. In reality it is a highly politicised ideology masquerading as a managerial reality. Its effect on universities has been profoundly destructive. The dignified public good of higher education has now become a huckstering marketised mechanism. What is so perplexing is the quiescence of universities. The ideology is so hegemonic that it appears exempt from criticism. University administrators are now quite unapologetic ideological functionaries and we need to relearn how to criticise those who manage us. Ultimately no ideology lasts, this present one will be supplanted, the question is what level of damage to civil and intellectual life will it inflict?"

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