The delegitimation of student protest against market-oriented reforms in higher education: The role of mass media discourse

J.L.J. Mampaey, Bruno Broucker, Kurt De Wit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the delegitimation of contemporary student protest against market-oriented reforms in higher education. Theoretically, we draw on an extended version of the Public Nuisance Paradigm, a theoretical paradigm that emphasizes the role of mass media discourse in the delegitimation of social protest. We illustrate our argument in a case study of the 2014 student protest against a market-oriented reform in Flemish higher education, that is, higher tuition fees. We identify four specific discursive strategies underlying the delegitimation of this student protest through mass media discourse: authorization, rationalization, moralization and predication. The major contribution of our study is that it extends the Public Nuisance Paradigm that has been introduced in the recent higher education literature focused on student movements, by zooming in on the micro level of analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-533
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • ACTIVISM
  • MOVEMENT
  • Student movements
  • case study
  • critical discourse analysis
  • market-oriented reforms
  • tuition fees

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