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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, Alexandra (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) pp. 234–241.

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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: Journal Item
ISSN: 0956-5221
Keywords: Radical critique, Critical management studies, New higher education, Publish-or-perish, Early-career academics, Intellectual pregnancy, Professional survival
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 53388
Depositing User: Alexandra Bristow
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 15:58
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 22:03
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