Educating Specialists in the Context of Postmodern Citizenship: Keep Calm and Carry on

  • Jorge Castro-TejerinaEmail author
Part of the Cultural Psychology of Education book series (CPED, volume 7)


The origin of this commentary lies in the sensation of bewilderment, pessimism and nostalgia observed in many academics and educators around the mercantilisation of higher education. The approach, however, identifies the danger of confronting an idealised past characterised by deeply engaged modernity with an individualistic, banal, postmodern present. A genealogical perspective is adopted to analyse the structural and functional continuity between those two world views. More specifically, the connection can be analysed from the social and political plan designed to encourage reflective, critical and self-governed awareness in Western citizens. A significant corollary to the clear divide drawn between social engineers and populations in the modern origin of the historic process at issue is the re-composition of that dichotomy in the form of an empowered awareness among citizens and a guilty reflective conscience among specialists and educators. From that standpoint, deprived of their traditional authority and influence on the definition of the social model, today’s academics and educators should learn to live in harmony with more cross-sectional, horizontal and complex life model management. Postmodernity should be seen not only as a source of problems and obstacles, but also of critical tools for resistance to experiment with new types of agency and social and political subjectivity.


Mercantilisation of higher education Awareness Postmodernity 



This research was conducted as part of the European project Between the Representation of the Crisis and the Crisis of the Representation, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 649436.


  1. Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined communities. Reflections on the origin and spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Blanco, F. (2002). El cultivo de la mente: un ensayo histórico-crítico sobre la cultura psicológica [The cultivation of the mind: A historical-critical essay on the psychological culture]. Madrid: A. Machado Libros.Google Scholar
  3. Blanco, F., & Castro, J. (2007). El rapto de [la psicología en] Europa: mítica y nostalgia en tiempos de convergencia [The rape of (psychology in) Europa: myth and nostalgia in times of convergence]. Revista de Historia de la Psicología, 28(1), 7–18.Google Scholar
  4. Bruner, J. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, Massachussets: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Castro, J. (2008). Antropotecnias desbocadas: a caballo entre Hans el listo y el pequeño Hans [Anthropotechniques unleashed: From clever Hans to little Hans]. In T. Sánchez-Criado (Ed.), Tecnogénesis. La construcción técnica de ecologías humanas (Vol. 2, pp. 198–231) [Technogenesis, the technical construction of human ecologies]. Madrid: AIBR.Google Scholar
  6. Castro-Tejerina, J. (2014). “Psytizens”: The co-construction of the professional identity of psychology students in the postmodern world. Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science, 48(4), 393–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castro-Tejerina, J. (2015). Psiudadanos: ciudadanía y autogobierno en el horizonte postmoderno [Psytizenships: citizenship and self-government in the postmodern horizon]. In M. F. González & A. Rosa (coords.), Hacer(se) ciudadan@s. Una psicología para la democracia [Becoming citizens. A psychology for democracy] (pp. 363–367). Buenos Aires: Miño y Dávila.Google Scholar
  8. Clegg, J. W., Ostenson, J. A., & Wiggins, B. J. (2018). Manufacturing the industrial citizen. In J. Valsiner, A. Lutsenko & A. A. Antoniouk (Eds.), Sustainable futures for higher education: Cultivating knowledge makers. Cham, CH: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Foucault, M. (1970). The order of things, an archeology of the human sciences. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  10. Foucault, M. (1991). Governmentality. In G. Burchell, C. Gordon, & P. Millet (Eds.), The Foucault eject: Studies in governmental rationality (pp. 87–104). Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  11. Foucault, M. (2007). Security, territory, population. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Habermas, J. (1976). Communication and the evolution of society. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Loredo, J. C., & Arruda, A. (2011). Aventuras y desventuras de la educación en el reino de Psicolandia: el supuesto respaldo científico del Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior [Educational adventures and mishaps in Psycholand: The presumed scientific backing for the European Higher Education Area]. Athenea Digital, 11(3), 79–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kryachko, E. S. (2018). Selected theses on science. In J. Valsiner, A. Lutsenko, & A. A. Antoniouk (Eds.), Sustainable futures for higher education: Cultivating knowledge makers. Cham, CH: Springer.Google Scholar
  15. Rorty, R. (1989). Contingency, irony, and solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rose, N. (1998). Inventing ourselves: Psychology, power and personhood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Sennett, R. (2000). The corrosion of character. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  18. Shestakova, E. (2018). Educating journalists: Towards philosophical sophistication. In J. Valsiner, A. Lutsenko & A. A. Antoniouk (Eds.), Sustainable futures for higher education: Cultivating knowledge makers. Springer.Google Scholar
  19. Urbán, M., Sevilla, C., & Carreras, J. (2006). Euro-universidad: mito y realidad del proceso de Bolonia [Euro-university and the Bologna process: Myth and reality]. Barcelona: Icaria.Google Scholar
  20. Valsiner, J. (2007). Culture in minds and societies. New Delhi, India: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations