Elizabeth Nixon and Richard Scullion

24 November 2015


Intensifying marketization across Higher Education (HE) in the UK continues to generate critical commentary on the potentially devastating consequences of market logic for pedagogy. In this lecture, we consider the student-consumer prominent in these debates as a discursive construction that, loaded with power relations and internal tensions, may marginalise or silence alternative roles and identities for students (and their tutors). We will discuss some of the various mechanisms through which the student and their satisfaction is constructed as sovereign, and how this further entrenches a seemingly natural state of fit between HE and wider consumer capitalism. We will also share empirical material from two phenomenological studies of undergraduates’ educational experiences to identify a range of discursive positions students are adopting, and reveal some of the student ‘satisfaction’ and ‘dissatisfaction’ created by the consequences of marketization itself.


Elizabeth Nixon

Lizzie is Assistant Professor in Marketing at University of Nottingham and holds a PhD from the University of Bath. Her research focuses on social theories of contemporary consumer cultures, particularly everyday forms of non-participation and attendant emotional aspects, and critical perspectives in marketing. She is a co-editor of The Marketisation of Higher Education and the Student as Consumer (2011, Routledge) and continues to investigate pedagogy and student behaviour in higher education. Her work can also be found in Journal of Consumer Culture, ephemera: theory and politics in organization and Teaching in Higher Education.


Richard Scullion

Richard is Senior Lecturer in Marketing Communications and Political Communications at Bournemouth University and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics on the meanings that consumers ascribe to their consumer and political choice practices. His research to date has focussed on advertising, consumer choice and how consumer culture and civic culture inter-relate. He has published in a range of international journals including Advances in Consumer Research, European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Marketing Management. He is a co-editor of the Routledge edited collections The Marketisation of Higher Education and The Student as Consumer (2011) and The Media, Political Participation and Empowerment (2013).


The David Watson Memorial Lecture Series, 2015 – 2016, What Should Universities Be?

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