Chinese adult higher education as a heterotopia.

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Authors: Shanshan Guan and Erik Blair
Date: Mar. 2021
From: Higher Education(Vol. 81, Issue 3)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,315 words
Lexile Measure: 1530L

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Abstract :

Certain environments are 'outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality' (Foucault, Diacritics 16, 22-27, 1986 (See CR13), p. 24). Foucault calls such places 'heterotopias' and offers six principles to help define them. Here, we propose that Chinese adult higher education is a heterotopic space. Chinese adult higher education exists alongside regular higher education and has been used by the Chinese government to fulfil various social and political roles during different historical phases but different policy problematisation over time has shaped AHE into a crisis heterotopia. Thus, as a Foucauldian heterotopia, Chinese adult higher education exists as a space in the interstices of power relations and dominant social structures-a position that, in the Chinese credential society, leaves those who enter this space feeling marginalised. Further, we propose that as nations expand their higher education systems, this diversification needs purposeful follow-up; otherwise, certain branches of higher education will fall to the whim of socio-cultural change.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A651467598