Commodification of the information profession: a critique of higher education under neoliberalism

Lawson, Stuart, Sanders, Kevin ORCID: 0000-0003-1217-0149 and Smith, Lauren (2015) Commodification of the information profession: a critique of higher education under neoliberalism. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 3 (1). ISSN 2162-3309

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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.

Implications for practice
1. As political control of conditions has a strong impact on library and information practices and scholarly discourse, this paper aims to problematise library and information practices that implicitly support these conditions.
2. This work seeks to be part of a continuous professional dialogue that can enhance resilience through stronger, community oriented practice, as action with critical depth is imperative for scholarly communications and librarianship.
3. This paper reinforces how and why critical information literacy offers techniques for self-aware practices that challenge cultural assumptions about information as a commodity.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Library and information sciences
Depositing User: Kevin Sanders
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 13:01
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 08:52
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/4170

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