Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.525498
Title: Universities and culture
Author: Kamenou, Andri
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
For various reasons, a number of scholars, such as Matthew Arnold, Allan Bloom, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Bill Readings, have recently suggested that the contemporary university has lost any cultural role and that in turn its members have lost any right to claim that they pursue any cultural functions. For the more recent of such scholars (Lyotard; Readings), the problematic nature of the contemporary university as a cultural site is a result of the dominance of neoliberal values and market affiliated norms. Contrary to these claims, I suggest here that the cultural profile and role of universities today are changing and expanding, rather than diminishing or dying out. I explain that the allegation that the university has ceased to be a cultural institution is misleading, because it is based on problematic bases and on a restricted understanding of the idea of culture. I argue in a similar manner that the two almost polar proposals of scholars towards restoring the relationship between universities and culture are equally problematic, because they also draw on a limited conception of culture. Readings and Lyotard, on the one hand, suggest that the university should become an open cultural space, facilitating uncritically the flourishing of every emerging belief or idea. The other alternative proposed by scholars like Arnold and Bloom is that the university should become an elitist institution, sustaining extensively high culture and remaining uninvolved with societal affairs. I go on to argue that universities are still cultural sites and have more complex positions as to how they influence their surrounding cultures and as to how they are influenced by local and global cultures. Against the set of reflections maintaining that the university is currently just another expression of the dominant global economy, I suggest a third way in understanding the relationship between universities and culture. Universities may provide space for various voices to be heard and for many cultures to flourish. But this has to be done critically, by enabling people inside and outside the boarders of the universities to develop and set in action well-informed mechanisms of understanding and judgement. Reflecting conceptually on aspects of this relationship and drawing on the case of the University of Cyprus, I suggest that universities are indeed still cultural sites, which may be described as cultures-inaction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.525498  DOI: Not available
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