Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Thinking politically in higher education is difficult for both practical and conceptual reasons. As a practical matter, it runs against the grain of academic cultures. Conceptually, thinking politically differs from other approaches to cultural and institutional change. Indeed, conventional approaches disdain politics.

"Practically, thinking politically means building political coalitions or alliances, and this requires recognizing what different political perspectives, interests, and disciplines have to offer. It means building extensive relationships across silo cultures. It means turning hidden, privately felt discontents into objects for public discussion. It means developing public leadership through experiences of public work, cooperative, successful effort with others. It means learning to share credit and public recognition. It means creating space for reflection and collective evaluation. Yet all these steps go directly against the grain of the free-wheeling individual entrepreneurship, disciplinary turf wars, argument culture, hierarchies, and competitiveness that both structure and fragment academia."

Harry C. Boyte, Everyday Politics: Reconnecting Citizens and Public Life (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004): 141.

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