Economic Subjectivities in Higher Education: Self, Policy and Practice in the Knowledge Economy

Sue Saltmarsh


Abstract

This article considers higher education in the context of global knowledge economy policies as a site for the production of economic subjectivities. Drawing insights from poststructuralist theory and feminist economics, it explores how the incorporation of economic discourse and market metaphors into education policy and practice functions as a disciplinary technique of governmentality. The article argues that while economic discourse displaces, disciplines and disrupts educational discourse, there is a need for greater acknowledgement of the productive potential of the intersection of education and economy as a means through which agency is in part accomplished. Implications for university learning and labour are considered, with a view to contributing to dialogues about new ways of undisciplining economic subjectivities, through which new ways of doing and being might enact alternative educational economies.

Keywords

Higher education; knowledge economy policy; economic subjectivity; pedagogy; Foucault

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