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Universitetet som en multimodal marknadsplats: Designen av en nyliberal managementdiskurs
Södertörns högskola.
Örebro universitet.
2015 (Swedish)In: Språk & Stil, ISSN 1101-1165, Vol. 25, 5-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper targets the language through which New Public Management (NPM) is implemented at universities. It is a multimodal language based on a neo-liberal market logic and used for monitoring and steering work processes of research and teaching. We do a case study of one university (Örebro University) using Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis with the aim to reveal how this language threatens to undermine research practices. Our data consist of different but interrelated documents. We have vision statements, which are first operationalized into strategies and then into more concrete ‘activities’ for the subject level that are related to bundles of performance indicators. Due to their affordances, different semiotic resources are deployed and co-articulated. The multimodal structures allow complex processes and social relations to be abstracted, fragmented and treated as things through a recurring design built on coordination. We get a profound recontextualization of research practices in different subject areas, which are handled in an one-size-fits-all way. Through the design this is communicated as a process made by careful, technical, management expertise. We thus meet a multimodal NPM language that is decoupled from actual work practices. We argue that this language threatens professional judgment and has profound effects as to how the control over work practices gets more and more in the hands of the management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 25, 5-37 p.
Keyword [en]
New Public Management, affordances, multimodality, Swedish universities, recontextualization of social practice, critical discourse analysis
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-272451OAI: diva2:895136
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2016-01-20Bibliographically approved

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