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Beyond individualism: the psychosocial life of the neoliberal university

Gill, R. (2017). Beyond individualism: the psychosocial life of the neoliberal university. In: Spooner, M. (Ed.), A Critical Guide to Higher Education & the Politics of Evidence: Resisting Colonialism, Neoliberalism, & Audit Culture. . Regina, Canada: University of Regina Press.


In this chapter I will draw together some of the themes of current research and writing on the university highlighting contemporary concerns about precarious employment, working hours, and surveillance and audit cultures. I want to raise some critical questions, returning to my original interests in the psychic life of neoliberalism – in particular its individualism. I will make three brief arguments: first arguing against individualization and calling for a collective struggle and resistance; secondly, calling for an expanded notion of precariousness that can speak to the multiplicity of ways in which precarity operates in the neoliberal University; and thirdly and relatedly discussing what I will call ‘difficult solidarities’ – particularly the need to work collectively across differences and to resist the pressures towards competition and division.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Culture & the Creative Industries
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