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ERIC Number: EJ979167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 82
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
Higher Education for Economic Advancement and Engaged Citizenship: An Analysis of the U.S. Department of Education Discourse
Suspitsyna, Tatiana
Journal of Higher Education, v83 n1 p49-72 Jan-Feb 2012
The steadily growing body of literature on universities' contribution to democracy and civil society has repeatedly called for a re-examination of the nascent purposes of higher education and the nature of higher education's compact with society. Although more faculty and administrators explore ways to produce public scholarship, infuse their curricula with service learning, and build stronger links between campuses and communities, their efforts remain secondary to the universities' preoccupation with producing competitive graduates for the job market and cutting edge research for industry. Scholars have well studied the causes and outcomes of this emphasis on the economic function of higher education, tracing it back to the neoliberal economic policies in the late 1970s (Davies & Bansel, 2007), supply-side higher education in the 1980s (Rhoades & Slaughter, 1997), and the decline of the social welfare state in the 1980s and 1990s (Fallis, 2007). What remains little examined, however, is how the market role of higher education is supported by the government rhetoric and what the consequences are of that support for the ability of colleges and universities to prepare students for engaged citizenship. In this study of government rhetoric, the author draws on Foucault's concept of governmentality to argue that the officially endorsed neoliberal perspective cannot envision higher education outside economic rationality and proposes an agonistic model of democracy as a framework for conceptualizing and practicing citizenship on campus. This paper is organized in five parts. The author begins with a brief discussion of two competing conceptualizations of higher education as an industry and a social institution. She then outlines the poststructuralist theoretical framework of the study and proceeds with an overview of the analytical methods and findings. She concludes with a broader discussion of the findings in relation to different models of democracy and citizenship in the context of higher education. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States