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Assessment policy and 'pockets of freedom' in a neoliberal university. A Foucauldian perspective.

Raaper, R. (2019) 'Assessment policy and 'pockets of freedom' in a neoliberal university. A Foucauldian perspective.', in Resisting neoliberalism in higher education. Volume II. Prising open the cracks. , 155--175. Palgrave critical University studies.


Guided by a Foucauldian theorisation, this chapter conducts a discourse analysis of assessment policy documents in one neoliberalised UK university. Furthermore, it traces the ways in which academics and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) as assessors negotiate this policy space. The findings demonstrate that the assessment policy has become increasingly restrictive but also ambiguous in the university. It includes a high number of policy documents, a wide range of assessment stakeholders and increasingly abstract language of instruction. However, the findings also suggest that this policy ambiguity is not utterly negative but can be exploited by academics and GTAs, allowing them to have some ownership over assessment processes and their own subjectivities as assessors.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:Raaper, R. (2019). Assessment Policy and “Pockets of Freedom” in a Neoliberal University. A Foucauldian Perspective. In Resisting Neoliberalism in Higher Education. Volume II - Prising Open the Cracks. Manathunga, C. & Bottrell, D. Palgrave Macmillan. II: 155-175 reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Date accepted:22 November 2017
Date deposited:06 December 2017
Date of first online publication:19 December 2019
Date first made open access:19 December 2020

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