Academic freedom and the commercialisation of the universities: a critical ethical analysis

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Title: Academic freedom and the commercialisation of the universities: a critical ethical analysis
Authors: Lynch, KathleenIvancheva, Mariya P.
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Date: 1-Oct-2015
Online since: 2015-11-13T09:52:15Z
Abstract: This paper explores the cultural and organisational dimensions of academic life that lay the foundations for academic freedom. We briefly review the relationship between university autonomy and academic freedom, the relationship between ethics and freedom and the impact of increased commercialisation on scholarly independence, particularly how the increasing casualization of employment limits the freedom of academics to teach critically and publish freely. We examine the geopolitics of knowledge and how the hegemony of Western thinking frames dominant epistemologies and imposes constraints on academic freedom. We also explore the ways in which Cartesian rationalism underpins contemporary understanding of what constitutes valid knowledge, and how this can and does act as a constraint in what we come to know and study, not least in terms of values but also in terms of how caring (affective) relations impact research and teaching. Our paper highlights the silenced doxa in the organisation of the academy, including the impact of care-lessness on women and primary care givers in particular. We examine the social class biases in how higher education is organised, and how class exclusions are themselves constraints on being an academic or a student in a university. Finally, the paper illustrates the importance of distinguishing between the institutional autonomy of the university, the personal and professional freedoms of individual academics, and each of these from subject autonomy, namely the freedom of scholars to create and maintain new disciplinary fields, especially fields of scholarship that are critical and challenging of prevailing academic orthodoxies.
Funding Details: Irish Research Council
metadata.dc.description.othersponsorship: Equality of Opportunity in Practice: Studies of Working, Learning and Caring in Higher Education
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Inter Research
Journal: Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics
Volume: 16
Issue: 1
Start page: 1
End page: 15
Copyright (published version): 2015 the Authors
Keywords: Care-lessnessAutonomyAcademic freedomNeoliberalismCommercialisationPrivatisationNew public service managementGenderGeopoliticsCareTenureCasualisation
DOI: 10.3354/esep00160
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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