Daniel Nehring

My career so far has taken me to a fairly wide range of places, and this has allowed me to experience a wide range of approaches to sociology and social science. In my blog, I reflect on this diversity and its implications for the future of the discipline. Over the last few years, I have also become interested in exploring the contours of academic life under neoliberal hegemony. Far-reaching transformations are taking place at universities around the world, in terms of organisational structures, patterns of authority, and forms of intellectual activity. With my posts, I hope to draw attention to some of these transformations.

Clerical work

The Deskilled Academic: Bureaucracy Defeats Scholarship

Intellectual labor comes to be largely external to the objectives of the bureaucratic regimes that dominate universities, argues our Daniel Nehring, and academics whose careers were built on intellectual labor turn out to be deskilled workers in organizational settings indifferent to their concerns.

6 years ago

New Teaching Excellence Framework Shows the Power of Marketing

The UK’s proposed Teaching Excellence Framework focuses strongly on ‘value for money,’ which, argues our Daniel Nehring, further elides the intellectual dimensions of scholarship and replaced it with the reduction of academics’ labor to the production of a skilled labor force.

6 years ago
Looking in mirror

The Image-Driven University

While academics have not just recently become image-conscious, noted Daniel Nehring, the increasing infiltration by corporate interests into universities is changing the face of what that consciousness results in.

7 years ago

What Will Happen to the Cosmopolitans?

Despite what he calls the poisonously xenophobic tone of politics and public debates in Britain, our Daniel Nehring still finds it a colorfully multicultural and sometimes, in some places, cosmopolitan society. One place he’d especially like to protect that virtue is in British universities.

7 years ago

What’s Distinctive About Britain’s New Corporate Universities?

British universities are changing at rapid pace, notes Daniel Nehring in the first of a new series of article on the so-called corporate university. The consequences of these changes are cause of concern for many academics, who worry about their working conditions and the future of academic freedom.

7 years ago
Tim Hunt

The Response to Tim Hunt’s Sexist Remarks is Deeply Flawed

Despite the hoopla over Nobel laureate Tim Hunt’s recent comments, says Daniel Nehring, they will continue to be ignored as long as universities continue to be portrayed mostly as motors of economic growth and their transformative potential in political and cultural terms is forgotten.

7 years ago
Tone dials

What’s Wrong With Academic Freedom in the UK?

Given the ferocity of the current assault on academic freedom, argues Daniel Nehring, it seems to me that we may be close to a point of no return, past which ‘tone of voice policies’ and similar control mechanisms may become a norm into which coming generations of academics will be socialized as a matter of course.

7 years ago
Men in Grey

The Never-Ending Audit®

In a society in which the remit of critical public debate is  narrowing, in which protest and dissent are increasingly being criminalised, in which public space is being supplanted by private and commercial space, and in which the meaning of democracy is now altogether questionable, critically and politically engaged scholars may come to be figures of suspicion.

7 years ago
Marina Warner

Is Higher Education Losing Its Progressive Potential?

In the the concluding piece of his three-article look at academic labor in the UK in the wake of Marina Warner’s departure from Essex, Daniel Nehring asks if the conservative turn in education is driven by students or policy makers.

7 years ago