“There is a hell and heaven difference among faculties who are from quota and those who are non-quota”: Under the veneer of the ‘New Middle Class’ production of Indian public universities

Nandita Dhawan, Dina Zoe Belluigi*, Grace Idahosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The university is a highly politicized and fractious realm for students and academic staff. Amidst trade-offs between the processes of massification, democratization, commodification and globalisation, the question of transformation for sustainability has become crucial to the social goods in higher education. This paper considers academic citizenry within Indian public higher education, a context where the increase in enrollment of first-generation students and female students, due to affirmative action policies, has not substantially altered the composition of academic staff. Informed by a mixed methods study conducted in 2019 with the participation of academics and leadership of four higher education institutions, we found that the enactment of such policies have been utilized for the production of the ‘New Middle Class’ by universities. Of concern is that neither the representation nor participation of academics who are women, lower castes or minorities meets the mark of just, inclusive institutions. Despite rhetoric of inclusiveness and development, the implementation of these policies cloth subalterns with the veneer of the intellectual class, permitting access on condition that sociocultural identities are concealed, and the status quo maintained. Terms such as ‘quality’ and ‘equality’ function as tools for social control rather than social justice where, assertions of caste identity and resistance are simultaneously repudiated and misrecognised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education
Publication statusSubmitted - 06 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • higher education
  • caste
  • discrimination
  • academic
  • gender
  • Women Studies

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“There is a hell and heaven difference among faculties who are from quota and those who are non-quota”: Under the veneer of the ‘New Middle Class’ production of Indian public universities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this