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Unbundling the university

My notes on Newfield, C. (2019). Unbundling the knowledge economy. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 1-9. Far from being distinct institutions at a remove from society, this special issue explores their many interconnections with social and political life. Once we recognise the mutating character of the university, transforming and growing in […]

Austerity politics as reactionary populism

I thought this was an excellent account in Corbynism: A Critical Approach by Frederick Harry Pitts and Matt Bolton. From loc 627: Austerity is often taken to have caused the contemporary rise of populism. In retrospect, however, it is abundantly clear that austerity itself was a populist project –both in Chantal […]

Abundance and austerity 

From The Revenge of the Monsters of Educational Technology, by Audrey Watters, loc 1187: Many of us in education technology talk about this being a moment of great abundance—information abundance—thanks to digital technologies. But I think we are actually/ also at a moment of great austerity. And when we talk […]

Trump is masculinising poverty

An absolutely fascinating article from Arlie Hochschild, whose new book on the American right sounds like a must read: Traditional Tea Party supporters wanted to cut both the practice of cutting in line, and government rewards for doing so. Followers of Donald Trump, on the other hand, wanted to keep […]

big data and the politics of austerity 

From Infoglut, by Mark Andrejevic, loc 607. The context to digital innovation in public services:  What emerges is a kind of actuarial model of crime: one that lends itself to aggregate considerations regarding how best to allocate resources under conditions of scarcity – a set of concerns that fits neatly […]

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Because we’re leaving them to their own devices The poorest are making all of the sacrifices – The cost of living crisis, house prices, the cost of a deposit, I don’t give a shit But yes of course we should address it So we will blame the deficit on people […]

What will post-democracy look like?

As anyone who reads my blog regularly might have noticed, I’m a fan of Colin Crouch’s notion of post-democracy. I’ve interviewed him about it a couple of times: once in 2010 and again in 2013. Whereas he’d initially offered the notion to illuminate a potential trajectory, in the sense that we risk becoming post-democratic, we […]

The politics of austerity

Richard Seymour had a thoughtful and incisive analysis in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago, released around the same time as his new book on austerity (see the video above). It addresses what I take to be the questions which the left has to address: how was it that a crisis […]

Individual biography and the spatial distribution of variety (or, what the sociological imagination looks like to a critical realist)

Throughout my thesis I use the term ‘exploration’ as a short hand to designate a rather precise process. I’m trying to conceptualise a particular sort of biographical process, which in spite of its empirical variability shares an underlying structure in which the relation between concerns and context lead a person to look beyond that […]