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Neoliberalizing Diversity in Liberal Arts College Life

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Volume 6

Higher Education in Critical Perspective: Practices and Policies

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Neoliberalizing Diversity in Liberal Arts College Life

Bonnie Urciuoli

308 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-176-9 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (February 2022)

eISBN 978-1-80073-177-6 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Urciuoli, a leading scholar in linguistic anthropology, quite brilliantly deploys linguistic anthropological theory to reveal how “diversity” is produced in college branding processes. The analysis brings to light quite vividly and powerfully exactly what this branding effectively masks, namely the deep disjuncture between the “diversity” imagined in promotional images of campus life and the everyday lived experiences of racialization among black and brown students and faculty in these institutions.” • Kathleen Hall, University of Pennsylvania


As neoliberalism has expanded from corporations to higher education, the notion of “diversity” is increasingly seen as the contribution of individuals to an organization. By focusing on one liberal arts college, author Bonnie Urciuoli shows how schools market themselves as “diverse” communities to which all members contribute. She explores how students of color are recruited, how their lives are institutionally organized, and how they provide the faces, numbers, and stories that represent schools as diverse. In doing so, she finds that unlike students’ routine experiences of racism or other social differences, neoliberal diversity is mainly about improving schools’ images.

Bonnie Urciuoli is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Hamilton College. She has published extensively on linguistic and cultural anthropology, specializing in public discourses on race, class, and language, particularly the discursive construction of diversity in U.S. higher education. Most recently, she is the editor of The Experience of Neoliberal Education (2018, Berghahn Books).

Subject: Educational StudiesAnthropology (General)Sociology
Area: North America


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