Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University (Hardback) book cover

Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University

Edited by Joyce E. Canaan, Wesley Shumar

© 2009 – Routledge

308 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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This volume considers how current transitions in postsecondary education are impacting Higher Education (HE) institutions and subjects in a number of Northern nations, as well as how these transitions are indicative of the wider shift from the welfare to the market state. The university is now considered a key site for training and wealth generation in the so-called 'knowledge economy' that operates in a globalising, high tech world. Further, these transitions are underpinned by neo-liberal economic ideas that assume that the public sector is a drag on the economy unless it is subject to the rules, regulations and assumptions that govern the private sector. This excellent volume - an important contribution to Education as well as Economics and Politics - furthers our understandings of universities as marketable entities as part of the globalized economy.


"This book is a refreshing counterblast to some of the prevailing rhetoric in global higher education – the rhetoric of markets, consumers and 'delivery' of educational products. It draws our attention to the shifts happening in higher education – not just in our own back yard, but across the globe."

- Marion Bowl, University of Canterbury, New Zealand Journal of Adult Learning

Table of Contents

Foreword James Collins. Acknowledgments. Part 1: Setting the Theoretical Framework 1. Higher Education in the Era of Globalization and Neoliberalism Joyce E. Canaan and Wesley Shumar Part 2: System 2.Managing Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Instructional Design and the Manufacturing of Higher Education Jonathan T. Church 3. Public Good or Private Value: A Critique of the Commodification of Knowledge in Higher Education: A Canadian Perspective Magda Lewis 4. Space, Place and the American University Wesley Shumar 5. Entrenching International Inequality: The Impact of the Global Commodification of Higher Education on Developing Countries Rajani Naidoo 6. Higher Education Reform in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan: The Politics of Neo-Liberal Agendas in Theory and Practice Sarah Amsler Part 3: Practice 7. The Variety of Student Experience, Investigating the Complex Dynamics of Undergraduate Learning in Russell and Non-Russell Universities in England Patrick Ainley and Mark Weyers 8. Protocols and Performances: Scientific Discourse in the Molecular Biology Laboratory Carol B. Brandt 9. Indigenous Epistemologies and the Neoliberal View of Higher Education Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, Angelina E. Castagno and Emma Maughan 10. No Burden to Carry: Social Constructions of Class and Self-Improvement in Cape Breton Jane McEldowney Jensen 11. Camaraderie, Distraction and Discouragement: Academics and Gendered Patterns of Peer Interactions Among College Students Laura M. Montgomery 12. Communication and Emotion in Gendered Organization: The Hidden Transcripts of Power in Higher Education Breda Luthar and Zdenka Šadl 13. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the (European Social) Forum: Or How New Forms of Accountability are Transforming Academics’ Identities and Possible Responses Joyce E. Canaan. Afterword: University Challenge - Neo-Liberal Abstraction and Being More Concrete Richard Johnson

About the Editors

Joyce Canaan is a Reader in Sociology at Birmingham City University.

Wesley Shumar is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Drexel University.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects