Inside the Teaching Machine: Rhetoric and the Globalization of the U.S. Public Research University

By Catherine Chaput | Go to book overview

2
Monopoly Capitalism,
Globalization, and
University Transformation:
A Plea against Nostalgia

The formation of the U.S. public research university, I have argued, was not simply a democratizing venture. Neither was it merely a strategy to economically outdistance England and other European nation-states, as perhaps my account of the industrial era might too easily suggest. The establishment of public higher education created institutions for an entirely different class of students, helped industrialize the nation, and distinguished the United States from its European competitor nations. But this was not all it did. Because the public university system has always collaborated with the triangulated historical materialist structure in which it has been situated, universities also entered into major corporate contracts, conducted research for the federal government, and reproduced a capitalist culture stylized around consumerism long before the so-called corporatization of the university. The implications of these complex relationships proliferated at the same time that the political and economic foundations on which they were built became obfuscated by a culturally focused democratic rhetoric. Criticisms as well as accolades nostalgic for the democratic project of public higher education have consistently refocused public discussion of the university around calls for cultural inclusion and accessibility at precisely those moments when the university was adapting to the exigencies of a new stage of corporate capitalism. Not only are these pleas not new, they demonstrate the power

-74-

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Inside the Teaching Machine: Rhetoric and the Globalization of the U.S. Public Research University
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction - Historical Materialist Rhetoric and the Hermeneutics of Valuation 1
  • I 27
  • 1: Historicizing the U.S. Public Research University 29
  • 2: Monopoly Capitalism, Globalization, and University Transformation 74
  • II 125
  • 3: The Collusion of Economic and Cultural Systems 126
  • 4: The Rhetoric of University Missions 174
  • III 223
  • 5: Working-Class Professionalism 225
  • Notes 273
  • Works Cited 293
  • Index 319
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