Re-engineering Higher Education: The Subsumption of Academic Labour and the Exploitation of Anxiety

Date

2016-10-03

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1715-0094

Volume Title

Publisher

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This article analyses the political economy of higher education, in terms of Marx and Engels’ conception of subsumption. It addresses the twin processes of formal and real subsumption, in terms of the re-engineering of the governance of higher education and the re-production of academic labour in the name of value. It argues that through the imposition of architectures of subsumption, academic labour becomes a source of both overwork and anxiety. The article employs Marx and Engels’ categorizations of formal and real subsumption, in order to work towards a fuller understanding of abstract academic labour, alongside its psychological impacts. The article closes by examining whether narratives of solidarity, in particular from marginalised voices, might help academics and students to analyse and then move beyond their alienated labour.

Description

Open access article

Keywords

Marx and Engels, Higher Education, Political Economy, University, subsumption, anxiety, academic labour

Citation

Hall, R., and Bowles, K. (2016) Re-engineering higher education: the subsumption of academic labour and the exploitation of anxiety. Workplace: A Journal of Academic Labour, 28, pp. 30-47. http://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/article/view/186211/185389

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice
Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)