Mobilities in Conjunction with Universities

Global Cultures

I attended a conference at the University of Alberta in Edmonton this past weekend after being invited to present by the Sociology Graduate Students Association.  The conference was Mobilities: Ruptures, Flows, Intersections with Dr. Michael Burawoy as the keynote speaker on the first evening.  Burawoy’s discussion on the “University in Crisis” analyzes third wave marketization (also known as neoliberalism) from working through The Great Transformation (1944) by Karl Polanyi.  Burawoy makes connections with fictious commodities, stating that knowledge is subject to commodification, so knowledge is now appropriated for the private.  He discusses four global (and local) crises: budgetary (selling knowledge produced); governance (corporatization, rankings, audit culture, etc.); identity (tension between producing work to tackle local problems versus global); and, legitimization (how the university is seen from outside and the value of a degree). 

I found Burawoy’s talk to be relevant to discussions about university culture, as well as my own…

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