Consuming Education

  • Alice Pearson


Pearson offers compelling ethnographic insight into recent student mobilisations in the economics departments of UK universities. The chapter draws attention to two significant shifts after the financial crisis of 2007–08: the further commodification of the British tertiary education system; and increased demands from students across universities to reform economics curricula, the legitimacy of which had been challenged due to the failure of economic models to allow for the possibility of the crisis. These two shifts have a complex and at times contradictory relationship. Whilst some voices in the heterodox student movement contest the marketisation of education, they also increasingly preface their authority in challenging the syllabus upon ‘consumer sovereignty’. As such, the chapter traces the potential paradoxes in the relationship between the content and form of the students’ demands, particularly with respect to certain consumer and market logics.


Higher education Neoliberalism Heterodox economics Commodification 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Pearson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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