Self-help’s role in the future of the university

July 13, 2018

Debates about the corporatization of the university tend to focus on a culture obsessed with efficiency, performance, and competition, writes Beth Blum, but what is equally involved in this trend is the language of therapy and self-help. The author argues that bulletin boards on any university campus today typically feature seminars on mindfulness, relaxation, or self-care. But what many seem to miss, the author adds, is that these offerings are themselves stop-gap solutions for deeper structural problems like intensifying competition, a fractured tenure system, racial inequity, and ever-expanding job precarity. The author concludes, however, that it is not always easy to distinguish self-help’s more benevolent, therapeutic side from its tendency to become a Band-aid for a broken university culture. Chronicle of Higher Education(Subscription Required)