Marx at the University 3.0?

Chepurenko A. Yu.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Prof., National Research University Higher School of Economics, Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518050033
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For citation:

Chepurenko A. Yu. Marx at the University 3.0?. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 5. P. 26-34


The paper is an attempt to consider the contemporary changes in the global higher education known as the establishing of ‘academic capitalism’ from the point of view of Marxian’ theory reflected in ‘Capital’ and related economic manuscripts. It is shown that the main actor of the academic capitalism the so-called third generation university is de facto a big capitalist corporation; its formation is a sign of a shift from ‘formal’ to ‘real subsumtion’ of academic labor under the capital (in Marx’ terms) in a knowledge based economy. Its most important features are as follows: the formation of a cooperation based academic labor power used by modern universities as its tool; the cooperation itself is becoming a self-sustaining specie confronting the academics; the knowledge itself produced by academic laborers is becoming a tool not of members of the university, but of capital itself. Considering the Russian higher education, the author points out that here the process of real subsuming of academics under the capital is less expressed, most of Russian higher educational institutions are starving more from the Soviet heritage than from the transformation into the area platform of ‘academic capitalism’. Thus, the paper pledges for some approaches which might help Russian universities to adapt to modern development trends in higher education.

Karl Marx; “Capital”; real subsumtion of labor under the capital; sociology of education


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Content No 5, 2018