Implications of Neoliberalism in International Service-Learning Sarah Brackmann Lauren Collier Brandon W. Kliewer
Presentation Overview • Neoliberal overview • Implications of neoliberalism in higher education and service-learning • Traditional & critical service-learning models • Theoretical framework • Exploratory study highlights • Themes • Implications for future research
Decline of the Social Welfare State & rise of the Neoliberal Response Social Welfare State • Move towards full employment • Focus on persistent economic growth • State support of general social and political welfare of its citizens • State empowered to intervene in the market if supports economic growth and social welfare (Fallis, 2007) Neoliberalism • De-regulation, re-regulation and privatization • Support of capitalist markets and market-like conditions in all spheres • In theory, limited conception of the state (Harvey, 2005) Critical Reflection
Neoliberal implications for Higher Education and Service-Learning • Academic Capitalism (Slaughter & Rhoads, 2004) • “Responsibilization” and the neoliberal ethic of service-learning (Dennis, 2009) • Under the neoliberal state, social & political needs unmet by society • Underscores individual responsibility rather than state obligation • Affirms charity model
Traditional Service-Learning Community Component reflection Learning to Serve Serving to Learn reflection Classroom Component Mitchell, T. (2008). Traditional vs. Critical Service-Learning: Engaging The Literature to Differentiate Two Models. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning.
Critical Service-Learning Community Component reflection A Social Change Orientation Working to Redistribute Power Developing Authentic Relationships reflection Classroom Component Mitchell, T. (2008). Traditional vs. Critical Service-Learning: Engaging The Literature to Differentiate Two Models. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning.
Theoretical Framework • Service-Learning as an Ideological State Apparatus? (Althusser, 1978) • Service-learning evaluation via “benchmarks”? (Bruno, 2009) • Service-learning reinforcing undemocratic practices? (Bruno, 2009; Tallacchini, 2009; Pestre, 2009)
Exploratory Study RQ: Are international service-learning programs promoting or challenging a neoliberal order? • Content & textual analysis • Sample of International Service-Learning Programs • Case studies • Global LEAD • Intergenerational studies in Cambodia • Camp Counselors in Russia • Maymester in Tanzania
Global LEAD • Mission: Transform the trajectory of individuals lives through global understanding, leadership, and service • Two interconnected courses: Leadership in the Arts & Sciences; Service-learning in the Arts & Sciences • Asks students to reflect upon their own experience, prompted by illustrations of those who have served and led back home
Camp Counselors in Russia • “Why have a job this summer, when you can have an adventure?” • Students in this program will have the opportunity • To increase cultural understanding and international exchange • To gain practical experience in understanding youth development practices • To stimulate thoughtful reflection and service-learning in conjunction with practical experience • To gain Russian language skills and appreciation through immersion • To learn about social welfare systems in the post-soviet era • To provide technical assistance to Russian summer camps
Intergenerational Studies in Cambodia Provides students with hands-on experience working with multiple generations of impoverished families in Cambodia. Students will develop: A global perspective on intergenerational relations and families An awareness of the influence of historical, biological, physiological, psychological, cultural, and social factors on families An understanding of and be able to apply theories and academic concepts to “real-life” situations of impoverished families in Cambodia.
Maymester in Tanzania “Students will meet a need within the community and expand their own knowledge and understanding of the issues. They will increase their commitment to community involvement and civic engagement. They will be empowered to envision and create future community service projects, both at home and abroad. They will integrate their academic learning with their practical experience to enhance both. There will be structured time to study and reflect on the basic issues involved.”
Themes • Neoliberal service-learning indicators • Marketing as “fun” and an exotic experience • High cost makes participation exclusive • Critical service-learning indicators • Community active partners in learning and service • Social justice incorporated into reflection
Future Research • For this study (phase II): • Qualitative interviews with faculty, students, and communities • Analysis of student participation • Pre- and Post- tests focusing on learning outcomes • Additional studies: • How does a neoliberal emphasis affect service-learning quality? • How can critical reflection be used to combat or confirm the neoliberal order?
Resources • Althusser, L. (2001/1970). Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus: Notes on Investigation. In A. Blunden (Ed.), Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays: Montly Review Press. • Bruno, I. (2009). The “Indefinite discipline” of competitiveness benchmarking as a neoliberal technology of government. Minerva, 47(3), 261-280. • Harvey, D. (2007). A brief history of neoliberalism. New York: Oxford University Press. • Mitchell, T. (2008). Traditional vs. Critical Service-Learning: Engaging The Literature to Differentiate Two Models. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning. • Pestre, D. (2009). Understanding the forms of government in Today’s liberal and democratic societies: An introduction. Minerva, 47(3), 243-260. • Slaughter, S., & Rhoades, G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. • Tallacchini, M. (2009). Governing by values. EU ethics: Soft tool, hard effects. Minerva, 47(3), 281-306.
Questions? • Sarah Brackmann • SBrackma@uga.edu • Lauren Collier • LKCollie@uga.edu • Brandon Kliewer • firstname.lastname@example.org