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Challenging ‘The Penn State Way’: a feminist response to institutional violence in higher education

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The aim of this Viewpoint is to suggest a feminist intervention into the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University as a radical alternative to rethinking institutional violence at places of higher learning. Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State assistant football coach, was found guilty on 45 charges related to child sexual abuse. The horrific nature of the crimes shocked the community, but the unanswered questions surrounding the involvement of Penn State's most prominent administrators in a cover-up have implications for the pervasiveness of institutional violence within higher education. We contend if places of higher learning strive to be the embodiment of intellectual transformation, a feminist ethics of care and responsibility is necessary to negate the day-to-day feelings of fear and vulnerability that institutional violence supports.
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Keywords: Penn State; Sandusky; care and responsibility; cuidado y responsabilidad; feminist ethics; institutional violence; violencia institucional; ├ętica feminista

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Women's Studies, Penn State University, State College, PA, 16802, USA

Publication date: March 16, 2014

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