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You’re trouble you are, just like your mother! An intergenerational autobiographical narrative on activism in Higher Education

Weiner, S and Weiner, G (2015) You’re trouble you are, just like your mother! An intergenerational autobiographical narrative on activism in Higher Education. In: NERA 2015, 03 March 2015 - 06 March 2015, Gothenburg. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper draws on autobiographical interviews of a mother and daughter concerning their experiences of working in higher education to explore the changes in university teaching and research in the UK and also the possibilities of challenging prevalent normative assumptions about aims and purpose. It uses the qualitative methodology of narrative enquiry, particularly in its focus on temporality, sociality and place, to create a co-constructed account which is able to expose critical events, possibilities and limitations for higher education ‘activists’ in the recent past and present. It will be shown that the quality of the relationship between the two researcher-participants had a significant impact on the quality of the data generated, and that together the relationship and methodology promoted interpretation and analysis in ‘uncommonly accelerated ways’ (Carillo & Baguley, 2011). At the same time, it created moments of discomfort and misunderstandings about ideological perceptions. It was found that while there were some similarities at least initially between the experiences of the two interviewees in their capacities both to perform to work expectations and to take an activist position, substantial differences were identified due, in particular, to generational intellectual schisms as well as shifts in higher education from elitist institutions promoting public good to mass, neo-liberal institutions with performative and institutional goals and practices. The European dream of becoming ‘the most competitive and knowledge-based economy of the world’ (European Council, 2000) has marked the transformation and modernisation of social welfare and education systems…. When policies and institutional practices based on competence, efficiency and competition are stressed, ideals such as equity and social community tend to become secondary (Arnesan, 2011)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 12:19
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2016 11:03
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3379

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