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Higher Education in Critical Perspective: Practices and Policies
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The Experience of Neoliberal Education
Edited by Bonnie Urciuoli
252 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-863-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78533-864-9 eBook
“[An] excellent and very significant volume….a remarkably interesting, well-argued, ethnographically rich book of real weight and consequence...A highlight is the combination of more ethnographic, analytical chapters by faculty scholars and quite telling and affecting reflections by undergraduates (or recent graduates).” · Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz
The college experience is increasingly positioned to demonstrate its value as a worthwhile return on investment. Specific, definable activities, such as research experience, first-year experience, and experiential learning, are marketed as delivering precise skill sets in the form of an individual educational package.
Through ethnography-based analysis, the contributors to this volume explore how these commodified "experiences" have turned students into consumers and given them the illusion that they are in control of their investment. They further reveal how the pressure to plan every move with a constant eye on a demonstrable return has supplanted traditional approaches to classroom education and profoundly altered the student experience.
Bonnie Urciuoli is Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Hamilton College. She has published extensively on linguistic and cultural anthropology, specializing in public discourses of race, class, and language and particularly the discursive construction of "diversity" in U.S. higher education.
Subject: Educational Studies Anthropology (General)
Area: North America
List of illustrations
Introduction: Neoliberalizing Undergraduate Experience
Chapter 1. John Dewey’s Philosophy of Education in the Neoliberal Age
Pauline Turner Strong
Chapter 2. Undergraduate Research in Veblen’s Vision: Idle Curiosity, Bureaucratic Accountancy and Pecuniary Emulation in Contemporary Higher Education
Chapter 3. Empathy as Industry: An Undergraduate Perspective on Neoliberalism and Community Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania
Chapter 4. Dirty Work: The Carnival of Service
John J. Bodinger de Uriarte and Shari Jacobson
Chapter 5. No Good Deed Goes Uncounted: A Reflection on College Volunteerism
Chapter 6. From Service Learning to Social Innovation: The Development of the Neoliberal in Experiential Learning
Chapter 7. High Hopes and Low Impact: Obstacles in Student Research
Chapter 8. The Experience Experts
Chapter 9. Moral Entanglements in Service-Learning
Christopher Cai and Usnish Majumdar
Chapter 10. Engineering Success: Performing Neoliberal Subjectivity through Pouring a Bottle of Water
Chapter 11. Caught Between Commodification and Audit: Concluding Thoughts on the Contradictions in U.S. Higher Education
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