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Market subjectivity and neoliberal governmentality in higher education

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Using an interpretive case study in a business school in India, this research examines student behaviour and offers an understanding of a marketisation process in higher education. The study deploys Foucault's conceptualisation of governmentality and uncovers processes through which market subjectivity is fostered among students as they strive to become responsible, active, and entrepreneurial subjects. The subject position is attributed to several governmental discourses of peer pressure, abnormality, uncritical pedagogy, loan repayment, and elitism that prevail in the business school. The study further highlights the roles of English language and preference for western corporations which are unique to postcolonial India. Market subjectivity results in the prevalence of instrumental rationality, failure to develop a critical academic perspective, subordination of social concerns, and disenchantment and exclusion among some students.
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Keywords: governmentality; higher-education marketisation; market subjectivity; neoliberalism; student behaviour

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Indian Institute of Management, India 2: Karlstad University, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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