Provoking aspiration: Risk-management through the cultivation of future selves in college recruitment

Posecznick, A. (2015). Provoking aspiration: Risk-management through the cultivation of future selves in college recruitment. Policy Futures in Education, 13 (5): 639-661.

Abstract: Drawing upon data from an ethnography of college admissions, I describe how the admissions’ personnel and faculty mobilize persuasive scripts that invite prospective students to reimagine themselves as subjects with a fluid set of aspirations within the context of risky futures. The focus here is not on the representations of the college itself, rather on how potential students’ aspirational subjectivities can be folded into enduring institutional scripts. Reciprocally, the institution is potentially folded into the students’ narrative of self. In persuasive scripts of commensuration, disparate futures and knowledge are made similar: students who imagine themselves embedded in the social world of nursing are acquired by social work programs; potential social workers are acquired by the school for business and so on. I argue here that the fluidity of such imagined futures is directly implicated in neoliberal discourses that require the subject to assertively colonize the future, despite the actual probabilities of such aspirations coming to fruition. This entire process is set against the backdrop of an unstable, higher education marketplace, where college admissions officers and recruiters are required to cushion the institution from the vicissitudes of market conditions.

Read the article: Posecznick, A. (2015). Provoking aspiration: Risk-management through the cultivation of future selves in college recruitment. Policy Futures in Education, 13 (5): 639-661.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Jun 01 2015, 12:00 AM by brendah
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