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Theory Article

Commodification of the Information Profession: A Critique of Higher Education Under Neoliberalism

Authors:

Stuart Lawson ,

Research Analyst, Jisc
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Kevin Sanders,

Independent researcher
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Lauren Smith

PhD Researcher, Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde
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Abstract

The structures that govern society’s understanding of information have been reorganised under a neoliberal worldview to allow information to appear and function as a commodity. This has implications for the professional ethics of library and information labour, and the need for critical reflexivity in library and information praxes is not being met. A lack of theoretical understanding of these issues means that the political interests governing decision-making are going unchallenged, for example the UK government’s specific framing of open access to research. We argue that building stronger, community oriented praxes of critical depth can serve as a resilient challenge to the neoliberal politics of the current higher education system in the UK and beyond. Critical information literacy offers a proactive, reflexive and hopeful strategy to challenge hegemonic assumptions about information as a commodity.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1182
How to Cite: Lawson, S., Sanders, K. & Smith, L., (2015). Commodification of the Information Profession: A Critique of Higher Education Under Neoliberalism. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 3(1), p.eP1182. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1182
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Published on 10 Mar 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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