Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Beyond Measure: On the Marketization of British Universities, and the Domestication of Academic Criminology

Published onJun 29, 2022
Beyond Measure: On the Marketization of British Universities, and the Domestication of Academic Criminology
key-enterThis Pub is a Version of
Beyond Measure: On the Marketization of British Universities, and the Domestication of Academic Criminology
Description

In this short essay, I discuss two interrelated processes. First, I will address the marketization of British universities. Here, I claim that—despite appearing regularly in the public proclamations of government ministers and university leaders—the core ideals of the university no longer play a significant role in Britain’s higher education sector and rarely intrude upon the working lives of British academics. The university’s traditional telos was tied to the pursuit of truth and the expansion of human knowledge. However, only vague traces of the university’s grand ideals can now be found throughout large expanses of Britain’s university system. These traces take a ghostly form: their substance appropriated, these ghosts attempt but are unable to exhort an influence upon unfolding social reality (as originally discussed in Derrida 2006). Only flickering representations of the university’s grand ideals remain. In their true form, these ideals are for the most part consigned to the realm of memory, and with every passing year seem at ever-greater risk of being forgotten completely. After briefly outlining some of the key issues associated with the marketization of British universities, I will turn my attention to criminology. Here, I will argue that relatively new sectoral concerns about income, competition and the practical application of criminological knowledge are closely related to the rapid growth of careerism, factionalism, empiricism and conformism, and the swift decline of creativity, curiosity, intellectual ambition, and our willingness to stand apart from the crowd (see also Winlow and Hall 2019). My conclusion is that our disciplinary dialectic has stalled. Criminology is no longer moving forward to address the stark problems that beset civil society and the environments upon which we depend. While innovation and intellectual ambition continue to exist at the outskirts, the discipline’s mainstream is increasingly cynical, circumspect, and trapped in a daemonic cycle of repetition. In an act of institutionalised fetishism, we return time and again to a depressingly familiar list of concepts and frameworks from the twentieth century that simply cannot reveal anything new and important about the way we live now.

 

Comments
0
comment

No comments here

Why not start the discussion?