Lessons for higher education : the university as a site of activism

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Title: Lessons for higher education : the university as a site of activism
Authors: Lynch, Kathleen
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2492
Date: Sep-2010
Abstract: Len Barton is acutely aware of the power of the academy to either enhance critical thinking or to depress it. He is a true academic, never accepting the received wisdom or perspective of any given sociological standpoint, no matter how powerful or fashionable it was at the time. He has encouraged and promoted a unique blend of professional and public sociology of education that has left a profound legacy not only in the UK but beyond. While the neo-liberal ideology had hegemonic status for most of his professional life, Len chose to engage in a counter ideological struggle; he created new intellectual spaces in the academy where people could safely dissent from the reigning intellectual orthodoxies. He operated according to the principles of Gramscian thinking by mounting a war of position, in journals, books, teaching, conferences and research, for critical intellectuals. And he encouraged other people to do likewise. This article explores the ways in which Len’s work inspired the establishment of the Equality Studies Centre and the School of Social Justice in UCD. It outlines the lessons learned from Len Barton about higher education and its potential as a site for critical analysis and action.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright (published version): 2010 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Public sociologyHigher educationAcademic capitalismEquality and social justiceIrelandPublic interest
Subject LCSH: Education, Higher
Critical thinking
Social justice
DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2010.500091
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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