[Palace of Ashes] E–pub ½ Mark S. Ferrara
Palace of Ashes E–pub ½ Mark S. Ferrara
Well it s probably not a surprise that I would find this book compelling given that one of the first eferences cited is Neoliberalism s War on Higher Education published by Verso a socialist press that freuently publishes strong critiues of capitalismThe American academic edifice is falling into disrepair as higher education becomes a commodity bought by an individual consumer to provide upward social mobility via professional training ather than a civic good funded from public coffers This shift from altruistic values to self interested ones can be attributed to the adoption of neoliberal ideology which is sweeping through international higher educationAccording to the philosophers Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval the principle characteristic of neoliberal ationality is the generalization of competition as the behavior norm and of the enterprise as a model of subjectivation Rationality they argue is not simply a euphemism for the word capitalism but. In addition to possessing the world's largest economies China and the United States have extensive higher education systems comparable in size By juxtaposing their long and distinctive educational traditions Palace of Ashes offers compelling evidence that American colleges and universities are uickly falling behind in measures such as scholarly output and the granting of doctoral degrees in STEM fields China in contrast has massed formidable economic power in su.
In fact neoliberalism is the Omnibus Films rationality of contemporary capitalism a capitalism freed of its archaiceferences and fully acknowledged as a historical construct and general norm of existence As such a new mode of government of human beings is now in ascendance by which the universal principle of competition has become embedded in the discourses practices and apparatuses of power Neoliberal ideology is pernicious not because it is a mindset or belief but Graeco-Egyptian Magick rather because it is a system of norms now profoundly inscribed in government practices institutional policies and managerial styles all of which are extensions of a logic of competition between individuals This universalized logic of competition justifies the transformation of institutions established for the public good like universities and hospitals into enterprises thatationalize ineualities among workers and administrators as a side effect of economic Darwinism where the fittest Slave Again (Whispers of Refuge rightfully surviv. Pport of its universities in an attempt to create the best educational system in the world Palace of Ashes argues that the overall uality of US institutions of higher learning has declined over the last three decades Mark S Ferrara places that decline in a broad historical context to illustrate how the forces of globalization are helpingapidly developing Asian nations particularly China transform their major universities into serious contenders for the world's.
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E and the weak are left to fend for themselvesIn the US the thoughtless embrace of neoliberalism has meant moving toward educational practices that include high stakes testing skill based teaching standardized curricula and memorization drills Left unchecked neoliberalism threatens to transform global higher education into an adjunct of corporate power and values 4 5 Well yes and higher education has always been an adjunct of corporate power and values or at least power and values At first it was deliberately only open to the elite to keep them elite and when it was opened further it was to serve the needs of the elite for knowledge workersThere were interesting sections on the long history of highly competitive civil service exams and also a short aside on the history of women s exclusion and the ways in which they did find ways to embrace a scholarlypoetic way of lifeHe gives a nice history of the university in the west noting that there were only five. Students faculty and esourcesFerrara finds that American institutions have been harmed by many factors including chronic state and federal defunding unsustainable tuition growth the adoption of corporate governance models adjunctification and the overall decline of humanities education elative to job Autumn Days with the Moodys (Moody Family related training Ferrara concludes with several keyecommendations to help US universities counter these trends and estore the palace of American higher learni.
Mark S Ferrara is the author of several books including Palace of Ashes New Seeds of Profit and American Community An associate professor of English at State University of New York Ferrara has taught for universities in South Korea China and on a Fulbright scholarship in Turkey