Resisting consumerist rationalities in higher vocational education
2017 (English)In: The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, ISSN 2051-0969, E-ISSN 1740-2743, Vol. 15, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Swedish higher education policy is currently moving toward consumption ideals that focus on promoting the efficiency and economic viability of student choices. This paper scrutinizes students’ practical considerations when making decisions regarding their education and future occupations and the choice rationalities and motives that these reflect. This issue is empirically investigated via a semi-structured questionnaire (n = 322) distributed to students from seven vocational Swedish human resource management (HRM) university programs. Vocational university programs like HRM are a significant growth sector in higher education. What is unclear, however, is whether these forms of education reinforce a desired policy ambition toward consumerist subjectivity among choice agents. The results of the study do not exclusively or even primarily express consumerist subjectivity. By vitalizing Pierre Bourdieu’s term “reasonable”, an organic form of reasoning becomes apparent that does not separate intrinsic dimensions of learning, knowledge, or personal and social concerns from merit and economic compensation. Moreover, the results indicate that security and interpersonal distinctions relating to professional alignment are situated in the forefront of the expressed motives for these educational choices.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 15, no 1
Higher vocational education, consumer, choice agents, neoliberal policy, Pierre Bourdieu
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-11894OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-11894DiVA: diva2:1073288