Universities in a state of exception

Dalakoglou, Dimitris (2012) Universities in a state of exception. Anthropology responds to the UK Crisis in HE. ISSN 2073-4158

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Abstract

Until recently the mainstream idea was that higher education (HE) has two major purposes: to create knowledge, following certain methods, and to teach and disseminate this knowledge. I do not deny the complex politics of these processes. Nor do I neglect the exclusion of several social categories from universities and the consequent (re)production of hierarchies through HE that Bourdieu (1988), among others, has analysed. However, the increase (in the UK and globally) of the percentage of the population which enters universities arguably constitutes an index of social advancement. Probably in an ideal world we should had free access to universities for everyone who wanted to study in the tertiary level. But of course in a world of mass starvation, war and exploitation, demands linked with education are too utopian. Nevertheless, the question today is not so much quantitative but qualitative: namely even if we achieve in a magical way access to HE for every person who wants it on the planet, does university works towards resolving fundamentally any of these global problems or is it mostly a useful tool of the economic and political establishment? Moreover, is this so-called restructuring of semi-publicly semi-funded HE in Britain (and elsewhere) a systematic attempt to further this model that wants universities to be an even more integral part of the system of economic and political sovereignty? Do universities and academia after all deserve to be defended?

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Dimitris Dalakoglou
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2012 08:31
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 13:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39827
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