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On Life, Death and Radical Critique: A Non-Survival Guide to the Brave New Higher Education for the Intellectually Pregnant

Bristow, A (2012) On Life, Death and Radical Critique: A Non-Survival Guide to the Brave New Higher Education for the Intellectually Pregnant Scandinavian Journal of Management, 28 (3). 234 - 241. ISSN 0956-5221

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This paper joins the call to arms against the domestication of critique in organisation studies. It argues that we have become too pre-occupied with our professional survival to stand firm against the normalising pressure of the new higher education and its publish-or-perish machinery. We trade away too much radicalism in exchange for legitimacy, which results in widely accepted but toothless forms of critique. The paper draws on two contrasting metaphors of Huxley’s Brave New World and intellectual pregnancy to illustrate some of the challenges faced by early-career academics entering the world of the Brave New Higher Education as academic ‘savages’. It discusses the almost imperceptible socialisation of the savage into the ‘rationalised myths’ of the brave new world to the point that alternatives become literally unthinkable. The paper suggests that we can fight this slippage and the associated domestication of critique by giving up our obsession with survival and by remembering/envisioning alternative realities, such as that of intellectual pregnancy deriving from the fragile idealism of the savage’s doctoral world.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 1 September 2012
Identification Number : 10.1016/j.scaman.2012.05.005
Contributors :
Uncontrolled Keywords : radical critique, critical management studies, new higher education, publish-or-perish, early-career academics, intellectual pregnancy, professional survival
Additional Information : NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Scandinavian Journal of Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Scandinavian Journal of Management, 28(3), September 2012, DOI 10.1016/j.scaman.2012.05.005.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 23 Aug 2012 15:51
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 19:34

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