n South African Journal of Higher Education - South African academia in crisis : the spread of 'contrived collegial managerialism'

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



In 1999, on the eve of rationalisation of South African higher education, J.M. Coetzee published a book entitled <I>Disgrace</I>. In this publication he narrates the tale of a Classics and Modern Languages professor transformed into an adjunct professor of communications, a marketable identity, as a consequence of rationalisation. Coetzee, describing his sense of displacement states: In this transformed and, to his mind, emasculated institution of learning he is more out of place than ever. But then, so are other of his colleagues from the old days, as burdened with upbringings inappropriate to the tasks they are set to perform; they had become clerks in a post-religious age (Coetzee 1999, 4). <br>Although &lt;I&gt;Disgrace&lt;/I&gt; is a fictitious tale, the writer, to some extent, draws one's attention to the 'role strain' experienced by academics during restructuring.

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