Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy - Leslie Dorrough Smith

Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy - Leslie Dorrough Smith

19. Research: Religious Studies Research in an Era of Neoliberalization

Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy - Leslie Dorrough Smith

Gregory D. Alles [+-]
McDaniel College
Gregory Alles is professor of religious studies at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He is co-editor of Numen, the journal of the International Association for the History of Religions, and a member of the steering committee of the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Alles has served as President of the North American Association for the Study of Religions. His research has focused widely on rhetoric in Greek and Sanskrit epic, the history of the study of religions in Germany, particularly the work of Rudolf Otto, the study of religions in a global context, and most recently on adivasi (tribal) people in Gujarat, India, known as Rathvas. He edited Religious Studies: A Global View and is author of The Iliad, The Ramayana, and the Work of Religion: Failed Persuasion and Religious Mystification as well as a number of articles.

Description

“Neoliberalization” is a convenient term for a number of changes that have taken place in higher education especially since the 1980s. The changes are broadly associated with the application of market principles to the operation of colleges and university. This chapter first identifies the author’s professional location within the study of religions and then turns to a concentrated consideration of the impact of these changes. It sees some positive value in the neoliberal turn, for example, in its emphasis on globalization and even in the much maligned concern with a quantitative assessment of research output. Nevertheless, it also identifies areas where a neoliberal approach has been detrimental: conceiving of higher education as a private rather than a public good, judging the importance of fields of study in terms of the number of students they attract, relying increasingly on poorly compensated contingent or adjunct faculty as an economizing measure, and determining the value of reserach on the basis of its economic return either to the academic institution or to private business. Although all academic fields are subject to these pressures, the humanities, including religious studies, are at a particular disadvantage in comparison with the STEM fields.

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Citation

Alles, Gregory. 19. Research: Religious Studies Research in an Era of Neoliberalization. Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 256-266 Oct 2019. ISBN 9781781796764. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34183. Date accessed: 22 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34183. Oct 2019

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