Using Foucault to Deconstruct Rankings

“… because some deans who don’t speak in public about the rankings were interviewed with anonymity, the rankings’ impact on their work becomes clear in the study. A key part of Foucault’s theory is that constant surveillance by some powerful force is a key part of gaining control, and the paper argues that US News is such a power in the law school world. ‘Obsessed may be an overstatement, but it’s not much of an overstatement … None of us like them but all of us are obsessed,’ says one new dean. In language suggesting a lack of control, the dean goes on to describe changing from a faculty member ‘who would say that we should disregard the rankings’ to a dean who feels ‘that I don’t have any choice but to think in terms of rankings’ …” (more)

[Inside Higher Ed, 3 February]


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