Widening participation, the instrumentalization of knowledge and the reproduction of inequality

Mavelli, Luca (2014) Widening participation, the instrumentalization of knowledge and the reproduction of inequality. Teaching in Higher Education, 19 (8). pp. 860-869. ISSN 1356-2517. E-ISSN 1470-1294. (doi:10.1080/13562517.2014.934352) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2014.934352

Abstract

According to Michel Foucault, modernity is predicated on the emergence of an instrumental idea of knowledge, which does not affect the constitution of the individual as a subject. This article aims to explore this thesis in the context of British Higher Education through a problematization of widening participation policies, and how they have been increasingly constructed in economic-instrumental terms. This approach suggests two main considerations within the framework of Foucault's argument. First, widening participation initiatives have contributed to reinforce an idea of knowledge as an instrumental set of notions external to the subject rather than a process of transformation of the self. Second, widening participation initiatives have been dominated by a neoliberal approach to the problem of inequality which has turned students into seemingly equal consumers of knowledge. However, it will be argued, this approach contributes to reproduce in different ways the inequality gap between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13562517.2014.934352
Subjects: J Political Science
L Education
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Luca Mavelli
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2014 16:16 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 13:02 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42805 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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