This book investigates neoliberalism in education and explains how it is a complex phenomenon which takes on local characteristics in diverse geopolitical, economic and cultural settings, while retaining a core commitment in all its manifestations to market fundamentalism.
Neoliberalism - that set of beliefs and practices which has become the economic orthodoxy of global preference since the 1980s - appears remarkably resilient despite the US financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent implementation of austerity in the massively indebted nations of the European Union. This book addresses the phenomenon of neoliberalism in education and focuses on school and higher education settings in Ireland, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Specifically, it addresses the role of language and semiosis in the reconfiguration of global educational practices along increasingly marketised lines. At the same time, the nature of the counter-hegemonic discourses also in circulation in these sectors is also considered. Collectively, the chapters in the book seek to shed light on the possibilities for resistance and the prospect of change from a variety of theoretical and (inter)cultural perspective.
The chapters in this book were originally published in a special issue of the journal, Language and Intercultural Communication.
Introduction: Education and the discourse of global neoliberalism
John Gray, John P. O’Regan and Catherine Wallace
1. Mediatizing neoliberalism: the discursive construction of education’s ‘future’
Joseph Sung-Yul Park
2. Language, neoliberalism, and the commodification of pedagogy
Carlos Soto and Miguel Pérez-Milans
3. Neoliberal fetishism: the language learner as homo oeconomicus
4. Language skills as human capital? Challenging the neoliberal frame
5. The bureaucratic distortion of academic work: a transdisciplinary analysis of the UK Research Excellence Framework in the age of neoliberalism
John P. O’Regan and John Gray
6. Being an English academic: a social domains account
7. ‘Even the dead will not be safe’: the long war over school English
John Hardcastle and John Yandell
8. Some thoughts on education and the discourse of global neoliberalism