Neoliberalism is not a theory of everything: a Bourdieuian analysis of illusio in educational research

Rowlands, Julie and Rawolle, Shaun 2013, Neoliberalism is not a theory of everything: a Bourdieuian analysis of illusio in educational research, Critical studies in education, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 260-272.


Title Neoliberalism is not a theory of everything: a Bourdieuian analysis of illusio in educational research
Author(s) Rowlands, Julie
Rawolle, Shaun
Journal name Critical studies in education
Volume number 54
Issue number 3
Start page 260
End page 272
Total pages 13
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1750-8487
1750-8495
Keyword(s) educational policy
higher education
neoconservatism
neoliberalism
poststructural
postmodern
critical theory
Bourdieu
Notes Despite the frequency with which the concept of neoliberalism is employed within academic literature, its complex and multifaceted nature makes it difficult to define and describe. Indeed, data reported in this article suggest that there is a tendency in educational research to make extensive use of the word ‘neoliberalism’ (or its variants neoliberal, neo-liberal and neo-liberalism) as a catch-all for something negative but without offering a definition or explanation. The article highlights a number of key risks associated with this approach and draws on the Bourdieuian concept of illusio to suggest the possibility that when as educational researchers we use the word ‘neoliberalism’ in this way, rather than interrupting the implementation of neoliberal policies and practices, we may, in fact, be further entrenching the neoliberal doxa. That is to say, we are both playing the neoliberal game and inadvertently demonstrating our belief that it is a game worth being played. In so doing, this article seeks to extend understandings of what illusio means within the context of educational research.
Language eng
Field of Research 160809 Sociology of Education
160506 Education Policy
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2013
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30055667

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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