Employability, managerialism, and performativity in higher education: a relational perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article combines Bourdieu’s concepts of field, habitus and cultural capital with Lyotard’s account of performativity to construct a three-tiered framework in order to explore how managerialism has affected the academic habitus. Specifically, this article examines the adoption of group assignments as a means of developing teamwork skills in one Australian case study organisation. On a macrolevel, by viewing the employability imperative as one manifestation of managerialism in the higher education field, we argue that managerialism has created a performative culture in the case study organisation evidenced by an increasing emphasis on performance indicators. On a mesolevel, by examining how academics use group assessments to respond to demands made by governments and employers for ‘employable graduates’, we highlight the continuity of academic habitus. Finally, on a microlevel by drawing on alumni reflections regarding their experiences of group assessments at university, we are able to shed some light on their evaluation of this pedagogical tool.

LanguageEnglish
Pages687-699
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education
Volume74
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Fingerprint

employability
education
alumni
Group
cultural capital
teamwork
employer
continuity
graduate
university
evaluation
performance
Employability
Performativity
Habitus
Managerialism
experience

Keywords

  • Employability
  • Higher education
  • Managerialism
  • Performativity
  • Teamwork

Cite this

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Employability, managerialism, and performativity in higher education : a relational perspective. / Kalfa, Senia; Taksa, Lucy.

In: Higher Education, Vol. 74, No. 4, 10.2017, p. 687-699.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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