The Capital-Labor Problem in Academic Knowledge Production
This theoretical essay critically examines the intricate relationship between academic knowledge production, academic capital accumulation, and the pervasive influence of neo-liberalization within the contemporary knowledge-based society and economy. After introducing the concepts of academic capital and academic labor, the paper identifies a concerning emphasis on academic capital in the world system of academic knowledge production, where qualifications from prestigious institutions disproportionately influence career opportunities, mobility, and research funds. The essay argues that while there is ongoing criticism regarding the neo-liberalization of academia, a related phenomenon, namely the prestige economy, remains oftentimes uncovered. The paper ultimately highlights the adverse consequences of a capital-centric academic environment, urging for a more balanced approach that prioritizes knowledge diversity, internationalization, and localized research initiatives, countering the homogenizing forces of the prestige economy within global higher education, and puts more emphasis on the production of labor than on academic capital.
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