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ERIC Number: EJ1281865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0091-5521
An Emotive Operation of Neoliberalism in Higher Education: Seeking a Second Chance in Hong Kong
Wong, Yi-Lee
Community College Review, v49 n1 p76-95 Jan 2021
Objective: Educational expansion as a policy is believed to address the issue of the youth's blocked social mobility. But, the argument that the transition to university is emotionally straining in a deindustrialized neoliberal context suggests an emotive aspect of neoliberalism in higher education. This article seeks to offer an illustration of such an emotive operation of neoliberalism through examining the emotional struggles of community-college students in Hong Kong. Method: This study draws on two qualitative analyses based on data collected from 83 community-college students in Hong Kong pursuing a bachelor's degree through a newly available transfer function of an associate degree. Results: Given an emphasis of neoliberalism on individualism and competition, the respondents showed the following negative emotions--perverse feelings of inferiority about the new option, stress about the competitiveness of this pursuit and strategic/calculating in organizing their learning and dealing with their classmates, and anxiety of being seen as inadequate despite their successful transferals. Contributions: The emotional struggles of the respondents suggest that in view of a lack of well-paid prestigious professional or managerial jobs in a deindustrialized capitalist context, educational expansion as a policy--expanding the sector of community college in particular--wrapped up in a neoliberal discourse is not merely giving the youth a false hope but inflicting on them unnecessarily strained emotions. This suggestion urges policy makers to rethink the effectiveness of adopting an educational policy with a neoliberal approach to address an economic issue.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong