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ERIC Number: EJ1138981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
Resisting Consumerist Rationalities in Higher Vocational Education
Puaca, Goran; Theandersson, Christer; Carlén, Margareta
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v15 n1 p205-227 Mar 2017
Swedish higher education policy is currently moving toward consumption ideals that focus on promoting the efficiency and economic viability of student choices. This paper scrutinizes students' practical considerations when making decisions regarding their education and future occupations and the choice rationalities and motives that these reflect. This issue is empirically investigated via a semi-structured questionnaire (n = 322) distributed to students from seven vocational Swedish human resource management (HRM) university programs. Vocational university programs like HRM are a significant growth sector in higher education. What is unclear, however, is whether these forms of education reinforce a desired policy ambition toward consumerist subjectivity among choice agents. The results of the study do not exclusively or even primarily express consumerist subjectivity. By vitalizing Pierre Bourdieu's term "reasonable", an organic form of reasoning becomes apparent that does not separate intrinsic dimensions of learning, knowledge, or personal and social concerns from merit and economic compensation. Moreover, the results indicate that security and interpersonal distinctions relating to professional alignment are situated in the forefront of the expressed motives for these educational choices.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A