Discourse of neoliberalism in Higher Education
Timotijevic, Jelena Discourse of neoliberalism in Higher Education In: Journal of Language and Politics. Journal of Language and Politics. (Submitted)
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In his guest editorial for Discourse and Society, Fairclough (2000: 147-148) calls for “coordinated action against neoliberalism on the part of critical language researchers.” Following Fairclough, this paper aims to investigate what is happening in the contemporary world where a ‘global’ form of capitalism is taking over: there is an increasing gap between rich and poor, news of job losses overwhelm news bulletins, higher education fees have increased and education is becoming a privilege for the elite in the society; there is major environmental damage – examples are many. This shift in wealth and power has involved restructuring on a large scale of a number of social fields, including higher education. The paper’s focus is therefore the genre of neoliberal globalisation in education in particular, and the consequences and contributions to shifting social relations, relations of power, particularly, for example, examining the new ‘role’ of students as ‘consumers’ of higher education on the one hand, and victims of the universities’ subordination to the priorities of the market on the other. The paper uses Critical Discourse Analysis and some aspects of Systemic Functional Linguistics as frameworks that help us in understanding how language “figures in hegemonic struggles around neoliberalism, and how struggles against neoliberalism can be partly pursued in language” (Fairclough 2000: 148).
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