What Would Durkheim Think?

adbusters_96_meinkampusMein Kampus

This piece from Adbusters argues that “Neoliberalism sucks the brains out of a generation.”

A cultural shift is happening on university campuses across North America. Students are lining up for mental health services faster than they can be treated. This shift is defining a generation and marks a profound change in the mental environment on campuses today. There was a time not so long ago when students used to reach out for help with a particular life crisis: a broken relationship, the death of a loved one, difficulty with a major decision. Today, however, students are complaining that their life is the crisis, an all-pervasive sense of bleakness about themselves and their future that didn’t exist a generation ago. This transition from the incidental to the total is nothing short of a socialized paradigm shift, one that has transformed higher learning from a space of exploration and freedom to a prison of the mind. Fueled by stress, anxiety, pressure and competition, many of today’s students are struggling not only to learn but also to survive.
Dr. Erika Horwitz, associate director of health counseling services at one of Canada’s largest undergraduate universities, Simon Fraser, said the hypercompetitive environment at universities where students are pitted against each other in a perceived zero-sum game for fewer and fewer jobs, is pushing a generation of youth to the edge.
“The current ideologies of success and beauty are unprecedented … students are coming in at increasing rates, saying they can’t cope.”

2 responses to “What Would Durkheim Think?

  1. Sent from my LG phone

  2. This article has so much truth to it; I think Durkheim would most definitely agree with this author. The cut-throat, “cash cow” nature to higher education is the norm in our society and we are simply seeing the manifestation of that on an individual level. I think Durkheim would argue that both egoism and anomie could come into play in this situation. As the nature of higher education and the workforce become increasingly competitive, individuals run the risk of feeling more alienated from their social groups. In another sense, individuals may find themselves unable to relate or identify with the particular social positions/roles that they have been forced into (because of the nature of the current climate).

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