Comments for Academography https://academography.org Critical Ethnography & Higher Education Fri, 14 Feb 2020 06:55:22 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.4 Comment on Project Suspended! by Davydd Greenwood https://academography.org/2020/02/13/project-suspended/#comment-15050 Fri, 14 Feb 2020 06:55:22 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=2207#comment-15050 This is a sad moment, obviously for Eli but also for the rest of us who care about higher education. I have known Eli since he blew my mind with his undegraduate thesis at Cornell and have followed him ever since, involving him in my projects when possible (for his benefit but mainly for mine). The bell is tolling for US higher education when someone like Eli cannot find a place from which to contribute and help bring higher education back to something more dignified and valuable than it currently is. Eli’s situation is reproduced by a great number of wonderfully trained and creative people who no longer can find their way into academia. Since a strong system of higher education with creative and productive people is necessary to have a healthy and ethical society, then no one should be surprised by the spectacle we are witnessing now. Safe travels, Eli, and may changes come to bring you back to academia.

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Comment on Conclusion: Reading the work that is already there by Davydd J. Greenwood https://academography.org/2019/01/09/conclusion-reading-the-work-that-is-already-there/#comment-1677 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 08:40:11 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=2171#comment-1677 This is a general comment covering Critical points 3-7 and the Conclusion.

As in my experiences with Eli since he was a Cornell undergraduate, I marvel at the combination of scope, incisiveness, and ultimately at the combination of critique and generosity that his work embodies. This analysis of Gusterson’s ideas is one more case in point.

Critical point 3
Gusterson engages in what is a replay of the objectivity argument, the search for an unmediated position of analysis. This affects much more than feminism an identity theory and is an epistemological, methodological, and moral dead end.

Critical point 4
I think the idea even of the elite “we” is now a fantasy. It is clear now that senior university administration now have taken over the “university” and they appropriate the “we”. So it seems to me that Gusterson does not realize his own now subordinate position in the university.

Critical point 5
Anthropology as good guys is quaint. Every field has always good and bad guys. Consider the academic “rock stars” who have lived off the elitism of the academic system and helped perpetuate it. Are they the “good guys” while the “poor” educational anthropologist are the janitors of the system?

Critical point 6
This position not only subordinates educational anthropology but continues the internal hegemonies that subordinated the work of the anthropologists who focused on contemporary institutions, science and technology and areas like Europe. The conceit of anthropology as non-Western, non-modern, pre-scientific no longer characterizes most of the field but was a key dynamic that affected my own career for at least 30 years. It is surprising to see the same processes of subordination deployed in reference to educational anthropology at this point in history.

Critical point 7
Methodological nationalism is not just an error but makes understanding causality impossible. The spread of the neo-liberal model of higher education around the world is general but does not take a uniform trajectory. Had anthropology operated in this ethnocentric way in earlier generations, we would have continued to take the nuclear family as the norm and all other forms as exotic variants. This is an ethnocentric dead end.

Conclusion
In particular, I oppose the subdisciplinization of critical university studies. The neo-Taylorism of academic silos has permitted domestication of the social sciences in studying rather than acting in the world. It has turned each innovation into a new form of disciplinary commodity production rather than promoting reformist inquiry into the causes of a host of social ills. This is why I lived most of my academic career outside of the department of anthropology working in interdisciplinary and multi-national programs.

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Comment on Critical Point 6: Gender and dominated subfields in U.S. anthropology by What does a critical ethnography of the university look like? A critical reading of Hugh Gusterson – Academography https://academography.org/2019/01/09/critical-point-6-gender-and-dominated-subfields-in-u-s-anthropology/#comment-1619 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 17:14:20 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=2166#comment-1619 […] Critical Point 6: Gender and dominated subfields in U.S. anthropology […]

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Comment on Critical Point 5: Critical anthropology without a critique of anthropology by What does a critical ethnography of the university look like? A critical reading of Hugh Gusterson – Academography https://academography.org/2019/01/09/critical-point-5-critical-anthropology-without-a-critique-of-anthropology/#comment-1618 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:54:47 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=2163#comment-1618 […] Critical Point 5: Critical anthropology without a critique of anthropology […]

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Comment on Critical Point 4: The tenured “we” or the subject of liberal pity by What does a critical ethnography of the university look like? A critical reading of Hugh Gusterson – Academography https://academography.org/2019/01/09/critical-point-4-the-tenured-we-or-the-subject-of-liberal-pity/#comment-1617 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:50:27 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=2155#comment-1617 […] Critical Point 4: The tenured “we” or the subject of liberal pity […]

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Comment on Critical Point 3: The resistance to identity theories, or methodological whiteness by What does a critical ethnography of the university look like? A critical reading of Hugh Gusterson – Academography https://academography.org/2019/01/09/critical-point-3-the-resistance-to-identity-theory/#comment-1616 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:53:44 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=1973#comment-1616 […] The resistance to identity theory, or methodological whiteness […]

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Comment on Critical Point 4: The tenured “we” or the subject of liberal pity by Critical Point 5: Critical anthropology without a critique of anthropology – Academography https://academography.org/2019/01/09/critical-point-4-the-tenured-we-or-the-subject-of-liberal-pity/#comment-1614 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:18:18 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=2155#comment-1614 […] Critical Point 4: The tenured “we” or the subject of liberal pity […]

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Comment on Critical Point 3: The resistance to identity theories, or methodological whiteness by Critical Point 4: The tenured “we” or the subject of liberal pity – Academography https://academography.org/2019/01/09/critical-point-3-the-resistance-to-identity-theory/#comment-1613 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:00:52 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=1973#comment-1613 […] suggested in the previous post that Gusterson does not really engage with the large body of work on identity and intersectional […]

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Comment on What does a critical ethnography of the university look like? A critical reading of Hugh Gusterson by Conclusion: For an intersectional and transdisciplinary ethnography of the university – Academography https://academography.org/2018/10/19/what-does-a-critical-ethnography-of-the-university-look-like-a-critical-reading-of-hugh-gusterson/#comment-1611 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 00:41:06 +0000 https://academography.org/?p=1889#comment-1611 […] of the University. I won’t repeat the framing of this series here, but you may want to read the introduction to the project, or see the whole list of […]

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Comment on Neha Vora, “Is The University Universal?” by Critical Point 7: A gratuitous methodological nationalism – Academography https://academography.org/2016/12/21/neha-vora-is-the-university-universal/#comment-1608 Wed, 09 Jan 2019 19:20:09 +0000 http://academography.org/?p=85#comment-1608 […] think here of Neha Vora’s recent paper, Is the University Universal? Mobile (Re)Constitutions of American Academia in the Gulf States, which examines the transnationality of American universities and their complex interface with […]

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