Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Rethinking the Consumer Metaphor versus the Citizen Metaphor: Frame Merging and Higher Education Reform in Sweden

  • Johan Nordensvärd (a1) and Markus Ketola (a2)
Abstract

Neoliberal metaphors of students often describe students as consumers, managers and even as commodities, but this analysis often disregards the discursive complexity of education. We argue that frame merging is essential to understand the hybrid modalities of neoliberal images of students in the Swedish context, where the image of the student is suspended between a social democratic welfare service model, academic capitalism, new public management and welfare nationalism. We demonstrate this through the case study of introducing student fees for non-EU students in Swedish higher education, and how the merging of universal tax financing with a more individualised fee paying solution creates variegated and complex metaphors of students and higher education. These metaphors are infused with social democratic social citizenship, neoliberal reform of welfare services, academic capitalism and nationalist welfare chauvinism. This implies that, in practice, it is nigh on impossible to disentangle the neoliberal consumer metaphor from that of social citizenship; instead they merge to generate multiple contextually relevant metaphors to fit the local debates in higher education.

Copyright
References
Hide All
ÅkessonWeibull, Sahlin Weibull, Sahlin and Malmström, Jonsson (2011) ‘Avgifter slår mot utomeuropeiska studenter’, Sydsvenskan, 28 June.
Alvesson, M. (2006) Tomhetens Triumf. Om Grandiositet, Illusionsnummer och Nollsummesspel, Stockholm: Atlas.
Andersen, J. G. and Bjørklund, T. (1990) ‘Structural changes and new cleavages: the Progress Parties in Denmark and Norway’, Acta Sociologica, 33, 2, 195217.
Andersson, Y. and Törnvall, A. (2001) ‘Kunskapsexport lyfter landet’, Svenska Dagbladet, 23 August.
Baker, D. P. (2011) ‘Forward and backward, horizontal and vertical: transformation of occupational credentialing in the schooled society’, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29, 529.
Béland, D. (2005) ‘The politics of social policy language’, Social Policy and Administration, 45, 1, 118.
Belfrage, C. and Ryner, M. (2009) ‘Renegotiating the Swedish social democratic settlement: from pension fund socialism to neoliberalization’, Politics and Society, 37, 2, 257–88.
Björklund, A, Edin, P-A., Fredriksson, P. and Krueger, A. (2004) The Market Comes to Education in Sweden: An Evaluation of Sweden's Surprising School Reforms, Uppsala: Uppsala University.
Boréus, K. (1994) Högervåg: Nyliberalism och Kampen om Språket i Svensk Debatt 1969–1989, Stockholm: Tidens förlag.
Brenner, N., Peck, J. and Theodore, N. (2010) ‘After neoliberalization?’, Globalizations, 7, 3, 327–45.
Broady, D., Andersson, M. B., Börjesson, M., Gustafsson, J., Hultqvist, E. and Palme, M. (2000) Skolan under 1990-talet Sociala Förutsättningar och Utbildningsstrategier: Rapport till Kommittén Välfärdsbokslut, SEC Research Reports/Rapporter från Forskningsgruppen för utbildnings- och kultursociologi, No. 27, https://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:328641/FULLTEXT01.pdf [accessed 18.10.2018].
Brown, D. K. (2001) ‘The social sources of educational credentialism: status cultures, labor markets and organizations’, Sociology of Education, 74, 1934.
Burstein, P. (1998) ‘Bringing the public back in: should sociologists consider the impact of public opinion on public policy?’, Social Forces, 77, 2762.
Castles, F. G. (1989) ‘Explaining public education expenditure in OECD countries’, European Journal of Political Research, 17, 4, 431–48.
Charteris-Black, J. (2004) Corpus approaches to critical metaphor analysis, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Christensson, F. (2015) ’Gör utbildning avgiftsfri för utländska studenter’, Dagens Samhälle, 29 October.
Codd, J. (1988) ‘The construction and deconstruction of educational policy documents’, Journal of Education Policy, 3, 3, 235–47.
Cornelissen, J. P. (2005) ‘Beyond compare: metaphor in organization theory’, Academy of Management Review, 30, 751–64.
Cornelissen, J. P., Oswick, C., Thøger, L., Christensen, L. and Phillips, N. (2008) ‘Metaphor in organizational research: context, modalities and implications for research’, Organization Studies, 29, 1, 722.
Denhardt, R. B. and Denhardt, J. V. (2000) ‘The new public service: serving rather than steering’, Public Administration Review, 60, 549–59.
Drucker, P. (1993) Post-Capitalist Society, New York, Harper.
Durnova, A. and Zittoun, P. (2011) ‘Interpretive policy analysis in a French setting: the Fifth Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference, Grenoble, June 2010’, Critical Policy Studies, 5, 2, 103–05.
Fauconnier, G. and Turner, M. (2002) The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities, New York, NY: Basic Books.
Fougner, T. (2006) ‘The state, international competitiveness and neoliberal globalisation: is there a future beyond ‘the competition state’?’, Review of International Studies, 32, 1, 165–85.
Giroux, H. A. (2003) ‘Utopian thinking under the sign of neoliberalism: towards a critical pedagogy of educated hope’, Democracy and Nature, 9, 1, 91105.
Goffman, E. (1974) Frame Analysis, New York: Harper Books.
Governmental Bill (2009) Proposition 2009/10:65. Konkurrera med Kvalitet - Studieavgifter för Utländska Studenter, Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartmentet, https://www.regeringen.se/49b729/contentassets/acdbd1cab8ab4144b1ec5f23f16e7937/konkurrera-med-kvalitet—studieavgifter-for-utlandska-studenter-prop.-20091065 [accessed 18.10.2018].
Government Offices of Sweden (2009) Competing on the Basis of Quality - Tuition Fees for Foreign Students, Govt. Bill 2009/10:65, Stockholm: Government Offices of Sweden.
Government Offices of Sweden (2010) Fact Sheet Competing on the Basis of Quality – Tuition Fees for Foreign Students, U10.007, Stockholm: Government Offices of Sweden.
Green, A. (1990) Education and State Formation: The Rise of Education Systems in England, France and the USA, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Green, A. (1997) Education, Globalization and the Nation State, London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Greenwood, R., Raynard, M., Kodeih, F., Micelotta, E. and Lounsbury, M. (2011) ‘Institutional complexity and organizational responses’, Academy of Management Annals, 5, 317–71.
Hega, G. M. and Hokenmaier, K. G. (2002) ‘The welfare state and education: a comparison of social and educational policy in advanced industrial countries’, German Policy Studies, 2, 1, 128.
Heidenheimer, A. J. (1981) ‘Education and social security entitlements in Europe and America’, in Flora, P. and Heidenheimer, A. J. (eds.), The Development of Welfare States in Europe and America, London: Transaction Books, 265304.
Hjerm, M. and Schnabel, A. (2012) ‘How much heterogeneity can the welfare state endure? The influence of heterogeneity on attitudes to the welfare state’, Nations and Nationalism, 18, 2, 346–69.
Hobsbawm, E. (1994) Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914‐1991, London: Abacus.
Hokenmaier, K. G. (1998) ‘Social security vs educational opportunity in advanced industrial societies: is there a trade-off?’, American Journal of Political Science 42, 2, 709–11.
Jaworski, A. and Coupland, N. (2000) ‘Introduction: perspectives on discourse analysis’ in Jaworskis, A. and Couplands, N. (eds.), The Discourse Reader, London/New York: Routledge, 138.
Jones, J. and Peccei, J. (2004) ‘Language and politics’, in Thomas, L., Wareing, S., Singh, I., Peccei, J., Thornborrow, J. and Jones, J. (eds.), Language, Society and Power, London: Routledge.
Kahlroth, M. (2012) ‘Ny avgift för utländska studenter: Många avstår sin plats’, https://www.scb.se/sv_/Hitta-statistik/Artiklar/Manga-avstar-sin-plats-Ny-avgift-for-utlandska-studenter/ [accessed 18.10.2018].
Keller, R. (2004) Diskursforschung. Eine Einführung für SozialwissenschaftlerInnen, Wiesbaden, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
Keller, R. (2005) Wissensoziologische Diskursanalyse -Grundlegung eines Forschungsprogramms, Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
Koller, V. (2005) ‘Critical discourse analysis and social cognition: evidence from business media discourse.’ Discourse and Society, 16, 2, 199224.
de Koster, W., Achterberg, P. and van der Waal, J. (2012) ‘The new right and the welfare state: the electoral relevance of welfare chauvinism and welfare populism in the Netherlands’, International Political Science Review, 34, 1, 320.
Le Grand, J. (2003) Motivation, Agency and Public Policy: Of Knights and Knaves, Pawns and Queens, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lomer, S. (2017) ‘Soft power as a policy rationale for international education in the UK: a critical analysis’, Higher Education, 74, 4, 581–98.
Lundgren, K.-H. (2010) ’Avgifter ger sämre studiekvalitet: Op-ed’, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, 23 January.
Mälardalens högskola (2010) ’Sverige inför avgifter men gör inget för att locka studenter’, http://www.mdh.se/sverige-infor-avgifter-men-gor-inget-for-att-locka-studenter-1.21810 [accessed 20.10.2018].
Marginson, S. (2017) ‘Limitations of human capital theory’, Studies in Higher Education, 1–15.
Marshall, T. H. (2006 [1950]) ‘Citizenship and social class’, in Pierson, C. and Castles, F. G. (eds.), The Welfare State Reader, Cambridge/Malden: Polity Press.
Mau, S. and Burkhardt, C. (2009) ’Migration and welfare state solidarity in Western Europe', Journal of European Social Policy, 19, 3, 213–29.
McLaren, P (1986) Schooling as a Ritual Performance: Towards A Political Economy of Educational Symbols and Gestures, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Morgan, G. (1999) Organisationsmetaforer, Lund: Studentlitterarur.
Morrow, R. and Torres, C. A. (2000) ‘The state, globalization, and education policy’, in Burbules, N. and Torres, C. A. (eds.), Globalization and Education: Critical Perspectives, New York and London: Routlege.
Mörck, H. V. (2010) ’Ingen vilja att internationalisera: Op-ed’, Västerbottens-Kuriren, 23 June.
Nilsson, M., Danielsson, J., Ericson, M., Wanngard, K. and Arroy, E. (2013) ’Studieavgifterna gör svenska lärosäten isolerade’, Svenska Dagbladet, 5 April.
Nordensvärd, J. (2010) ‘The consumer metaphor versus the citizen’, in Molesworth, M., Nixon, E. and Scullions, R. (eds.), The Marketisation of Higher Education: The Student as Consumer, London: Routledge.
Nordensvärd, J. and Ketola, M. (2015) ’Nationalist reframing of the Finnish and Swedish welfare states – the nexus of nationalism and social policy in far‐right populist parties’, Journal of Social Policy and Administration, 49, 3, 357–75.
Östros, T. (2001) ‘Skrämmande syn på högskolan - Op-ed'l’, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, 19 November.
Östros, T. (2004) Stärk högskolans internationella konkurrenskraft, Stockholm: Government Offices of Sweden.
Pechar, H. and Andres, L. (2011) ‘Higher-education policies and welfare regimes: international comparative perspectives’, Higher education policy, 24, 1, 2552.
Peck, J. (2010) Constructions of Neoliberal Reason, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Peck, J., Theodore, N. and Brenner, N. (2009) ‘Neoliberal urbanism: models, moments, mutations’, SAIS Review of International Affairs, 29, 1, 4966.
Pollitt, C. and Bouckaert, G. (2004) Public Management Reform A Comparative Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Porter, M. (1990) The Competitive Advantage of Nations, New York: Free Press
Rothstein, B. and Stolle, D. (2003) ‘Social capital, impartiality and the welfare state: an institutional approach’, in Hooghe, M. and Stolle, D. (eds.), Generating Social Capital, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 191210.
Ryner, J. M. (2002) Capitalist Restructuring, Globalisation and the Third Way: Lessons from the Swedish Model, London: Routledge.
Sander, W. (2005) ‘Theorie der politische bildung: geschichte - didaktische konzeptionen - aktuelle tendenzen und probleme’, in Sanders, W. (ed.), Handbuch Politische Bildung. Bonn: Wochenschau Publishers.
Simons, M. and Masschelein, J. (2008) ‘The governmentalization of learning and the assemblage of a learning apparatus’, Educational Theory, 58, 4, 391415.
Svenska Dagbladet (2008) ‘Inte längre gratis studera i Sverige’, Svenska Dagbladet, 23 June.
Svenska Dagbladet (2011) ‘Centerpartiet förväntas vilja slopa avgifter för utländska studenter’, Svenska Dagbladet, 23 September.
Radio, Sveriges (2013) ‘(S) vill slopa avgifter för utländska studenter’, Sveriges Radio, 8 April.
Statens Offentliga Utredningar (SOU) (2000) Advantage Sweden - en kraftsamling för ökad rekrytering av utländska studenter till Sverige, Government Offices of Sweden
Statens Offentliga Utredningar (SOU) (2006) Studieavgifter i Högskolan, Stockholm: Government Offices of Sweden.
Thörn, H. and Larsson, B. (2012) ‘Conclusions: re-engineering the Swedish welfare state’, in Larsson, B., Letell, M. and Thörn, H. (eds.), Transformations of the Swedish Welfare State: From Social Engineering to Governance?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tight, M. (2013) ‘Students: customers, clients or pawns?’, Higher Education Policy, 26, 3, 291307.
Titmuss, R. M. (1974) Social Policy: An Introduction (eds. Abel-Smith, B. and Titmuss, K.). London: Allen and Unwin.
Todd, S., Barnoff, L., Moffatt, K., Panitch, M., Parada, H. and Strumm, B. (2017) ’A social work re-reading of students as consumers’, Social Work Education, 36, 5, 542–56.
Universitetsläraren (2013) ’Socialdemokraterna föreslår förändring av studieavgifter’, Universitetsläraren, 8, 13.
Van der Waal, J., Achterberg, P., Houtman, D., de Koster, W. and Manevska, K. (2010) ‘‘Some are more equal than others.’ Economic egalitarianism and welfare chauvinism in the Netherlands’, Journal of European Social Policy, 20, 4, 350–63.
Wanngård, K. (2012) ’Avgift på högskolan bör tas bort’, Svenska Dagbladet, 27 February.
Weatherall, A. and Walton, M. (1999) ‘The metaphorical construction of sexual experience in a speech community of New Zealand university students’, British Journal of Social Psychology, 4, 479–98.
Werner, M. and Cornelissen, J. (2014) ‘Framing the change: switching and blending frames and their role in instigating institutional change’, Organization Studies, 35, 10, 1449–72.
Wielemans, W. (2000) ‘European educational policy on shifting Sand?’, European Journal for Education Law and Policy, 4, 1, 2134.
Willemse, N. and De Beer, P. (2012) ‘Three worlds of educational welfare states? A comparative study of higher education systems across welfare states’, Journal of European Social Policy, 22, 2, 105–17.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed