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Title: Professing hegemony : academia and the state vision for higher education in 21st century China
Author: Gow, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Utilizing a theoretical framework drawing on Gramsci's theory of hegemony; Jonathan Joseph's critical realist 'duality of hegemony'. and Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of habitus, capital and field, this thesis aims to promote an understanding of Chinese HE reform and development within the wider context of China's teleological modernization project. It aims to understand how agential hegemonic projects and the corresponding HE reform policies and initiatives are mediated through the Chinese HE context; how deeply-rooted structurally hegemonic conventions and practices impact upon this process of mediation; how competition over resources strategically deployed by the state mobilizes individual actors in the field of Chinese HE and directs their efforts to accumulate various forms of capital, and how such mass action results in the propulsion of the Chinese HE sector on a trajectory which contributes to the achievement of national development objectives. Methodologically, the thesis adopts Burawoy's extended case method, incorporating critical discourse analysis of policy documents, interview data, and ethnographic participant observation to facilitate a theoretically informed analysis of the reform and development of Chinese HE. This reflexive approach has the overarching objective of reconstructing Gramsci's theory of hegemony to take into account the particularities of the Chinese case. The thesis ultimately characterises the Chinese HE sector as a robust social institution in service of the integral Chinese state and which combines elements of consensus building and dissent negation to contribute to a limited, as opposed to expansive, hegemony. The constraining effect of cultural structures, practices and conventions effect the negation of dissent and reduce the requirement for explicit coercive interventions, while consensus is actively negotiated around ideas that centre on national solidarity and the provision of opportunities for the accumulation of economic, social, cultural and symbolic capital. This capacity for dissent negation without recourse to explicitly coercive means is viewed as arising from the distinctly differentiated modes of association prevalent in Chinese society, rooted in Confucian norms and values, and which characterize social relations in the field of Chinese HE and in wider Chinese society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available