The consumed university: probing neoliberalism in higher educaton
Redfern Pucci, Antonio
Doctor of Philosophy
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This study probes the influence of neoliberal ideas and ideology in Canadian higher education. In order to examine such an influence, this study subjected the texts and artifacts from 14 Canadian university recruitment websites to a critical discourse analysis. Along with the website analysis, eight ethnographic interviews with current professors were conducted to explore, in their experiences, how neoliberal ideology shapes their work as researchers, scholars, and instructors. This study investigated the ways that neoliberalism influences Canadian universities focusing on two specific areas. The first is how do universities include neoliberal discourse in their recruitment websites and if they do, in what ways? The second question is in what ways do professors, if at all, see the effects of neoliberalism in their daily activities as educators, researchers, and members of the university community? This study is a philosophical inquiry that deploys qualitative methodologies to examine the ideological influence of neoliberalism on higher education in Canada. The importance of this hybrid approach is that it will allow for a broad discussion of the valuation of education in society. This study shows that the influence of neoliberalism in Canadian universities is real and produces changes in the way university education is conceived and relates to the outside world.