22 SES 11 B, Inclusion and Exclusion: various perspectives
Today’s university is affected by some profound changes, both in the global and local dimensions. On the whole, the higher education is said to be moving from its traditional (Humboldtian) model towards an entrepreneurial, neoliberal or the third generation model of the university (Clark 1998; Haberla 2013).
Among the distinguished levels at which this transition is to take place, the ethical dimension of the changes often appears. Following Robert Merton’s description, it can be said that the traditional university was to be characterised by the four academic standards: universalism, communalism, disinterestedness and organised scepticism (Merton 1996). The new university, in turn, is defined, according to some researchers, by some new standards which amount to the five adjectives: proprietary, local, commercial, expert and authoritarian (Ziman 2002). Within this new concept of knowledge production, “scientists become contractual and dependent experts who do not allow themselves to involve in any basic or less pragmatic research” (Sułkowski 2016: 133).
If we accept this kind of opposition, we might put forward the hypothesis that the new standards of practising science lead to the exclusion of the vast area of humanistic research, the results of which cannot be subject to direct commercialisation or do not have any, narrowly conceived, practical applications. While traditional academic values, such as disinterestedness or communalism harmonise perfectly with the specific nature of the humanities, they contradict the new standards (creating practical expert knowledge and knowledge that can be commercialised).
The problem, however, gets complicated at the level of the discourses – the one critical of the neoliberal changes affecting the university, and, on the other hand, the other one, opting for these changes. Following the contemporary debates which flared up at the time of the broad reforms of higher education in Poland (2011-2015), one can observe that both opponents and supporters of the new entrepreneurial or neoliberal university refer to the traditional ethos of the scholar, yet obviously for different purposes. The former clearly links the defence of the values that make up this ethos - the pursuit of truth, the pursuit of wisdom, criticism or broadening horizons of thought – with the defence of the humanities position in the entire universe of science. The latter, however, also emphasises the importance of these values, but as a foundation for achieving goals within the entrepreneurial university; for example, the search for wisdom is linked to the practical question: for what purpose? (Dyrtkowski and Popek 2013: 40). Thus, the first task of my paper will be to demonstrate that in the contemporary academic discourse about the scholar’s ethos there is something that Michel Foucault called the “tactical polyvalence of discourse” (Foucault 2000: 93).
The second and the most important aim of the paper will be an attempt to answer the question: to what extent is this polyvalence of discourse in the dimension of ethos the inclusion and to what extent is it the exclusion of the humanities by this discourse? In other words, I will try to determine whether the fact that the supporters of the new university order take over most elements of the traditional (humanistic) scholar’s ethos fosters the inclusion of the humanities into this order or, on the contrary, the fact that these elements are adapted to neoliberal aims is a hidden and even more insidious attempt to exclude the humanities by taking away from the supporters of the former university model one of their most essential weapons, namely something that Foucault called the point of resistance in the form of ethopoiesis (Foucault 2001). And perhaps it is a more sophisticated and ambiguous game involving both inclusive and exclusive aspects.
So, the point is to do an exercise in discourse analysis, the empirical material of which is included in some selected contemporary academic works that appeared in connection with the reform of higher education in Poland and that address the problem of the scholar’s ethos. The main theoretical and methodological framework of the paper will be the notion of discourse and the method of its research proposed by Michel Foucault in his concept of the archaeology of knowledge (Foucault 1969, 1971) and the relationship between knowledge and power (Foucault 2000). Such Foucauldian analytical tools as the statement (énoncé), the anonymity of discourse, discursive effects and tactical polyvalence of discourse will be applied. From the later phase of Foucault’s work, the notion of ethopoiesis as a point of resistance will be used to interpret the utterances defending the traditional scholar’s ethos as a tool in the struggle for the humanities. Apart from this primary reference, some theories and practices of discourse analysis that continue Foucault’s thought will prove useful, namely Critical Discourse Analysis and related linguistic proposals (e.g. Fairclough 1993; Hyatt 2013; Smith 2013; Gee 2015). They will be needed to grasp the so-called semantic drifts, which are notoriously used by the supporters of neoliberal tendencies to capture the traditional ethos elements.
As a result of my analysis I hope to: · answer the question to what extent the contemporary discourse on the ethical dimension of the scholar’s work fosters the exclusion and the inclusion of the humanities in the new neoliberal (entrepreneurial) model of the university; · demonstrate the complex game of the exclusion/inclusion of the humanities regarding so-called tactical polyvalence of discourse, i.e. in the situation where particular discursive elements (in this case those referring to the scholar’s ethos) circulate between the opposing strategies; · show the strong relationship between the discursive defence of the traditional scholar’s ethos and the defence of the status and importance of the humanities in the whole field of science; · answer the question whether the use of the elements of the traditional (humanistic) scholar’s ethos in the neoliberal discourse serves or does not serve the humanities and their position in the whole field of science and academic education.
Clark, Burton R. 1998. Creating Entrepreneurial Universities. Organizational Pathways of Transformation. New York: Pergamon Press. Dyrtkowski, Kamil, and Magdalena Popek. 2013. Uwagi o przedsiębiorczości uczelni w modelu uniwersytetu III generacji. In Uniwersytet trzeciej generacji. Stan i perspektywy rozwoju, ed. Dariusz Burawski, 59-69. Poznań: ECWP. Fairclough, Norman. 1993. Critical Discourse Analysis and the Marketization of Public Discourse: The Universities. Discourse & Society, 4(2): 133-168. Foucault, Michel. 1969. Archéologie du savoir. Paris: Gallimard. Foucault, Michel. 1971. L’Ordre du discours. Paris: Gallimard. Foucault, Michel. 2000. Historia seksualności. Warszawa: Czytelnik. Foucault, Michel. 2001. L’herméneutique du sujet. Cours au Collège de France (1981-1982). Paris: Seuil-Gallimard. Gee, James. P. 2015. Social Linguistics and Literacies Ideology in Discourses. Florence: Taylor and Francis. Haberla, Marcin, and Sebastian Bobowski. 2013. Od uniwersytetu średniowiecznego do uniwersytetu trzeciej generacji. Prace naukowe Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego we Wrocławiu 315: 287-297. Hyatt, David. 2013. The Critical Higher Education Policy Discourse Analysis Framework. In Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Volume 9), ed. Jeroen Huisman and Malcolm Tight, 41 – 59. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Merton, Robert K. 1996. On Social Structure and Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Smith, Karen. 2013. Critical Discourse Analysis and Higher Education Research. In Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Volume 9), ed. Jeroen Huisman and Malcolm Tight, 61-72. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Sułkowski, Łukasz. 2016. Kultura akademicka. Koniec utopii? Warszawa: PWN. Ziman, John. 2002 Real Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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