• Introduction: Therapeutic Culture

      Apperley, Alan; Jacobs, Stephen; Jones, Mark (Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014-10-1)
    • Public Relations and Discourses of Professionalisation

      Williams, Sarah; Apperley, Alan (Tritonic, 2009-11-01)
    • Revisiting Dearing: Higher education and the construction of the 'belabored' self

      Apperley, Alan (Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014-10-01)
      Several authors have identified a 'therapeutic turn' in education in the UK, at all levels of the system. In this paper I focus on and develop this claim, specifically in relation to the Higher Education sector. I seek to do two things: First, I argue that the 'self' which is identified by commentators on the therapeutic turn needs to be reworked in the direction of McGee's idea of the 'belabored' self. This is because the therapeutic turn serves, I argue, a set of wider economic goals arising from the restructuring of capitalism which followed in the wake of the oil crisis of 1973 and the subsequent breakdown of the post-war (1939-1945) consensus around the purpose of public policy, of which education is an important part. Second, I revisit an important document in the history of the UK Higher Education sector: the National Committee of Inquiry Into Higher Education's 1997 report Higher Education In The Learning Society (known popularly as the Dearing Report, after its chair, Sir Ron Dearing). I argue that that the committee's ambition to bring about a learning society characterised by lifelong learning played an important and neglected part in bringing about the therapeutic turn in higher education in the UK. The project of creating a learning society characterised by lifelong learning, advocated by the Dearing Report, should properly be recognised as an exhortation to embark upon a lifetime of labouring upon the self.
    • Risk-Aversion or Ethical Responsibility? Towards a New Research Ethics Paradigm

      Jacobs, Stephen; Apperley, Alan; University of Wolverhampton; University of Wolverhampton (Equinox, 2018-03-13)
      Ethics seems to be of increasing concern for researchers in Higher Education Institutes and funding bodies demand ever more transparent and robust ethics procedures. While we agree that an ethical approach to fieldwork in religion is critical, we take issue with the approach that ethics committees and reviews adopt in assessing the ethicality of proposed research projects. We identify that the approach to research ethics is informed by consequentialism – the consequences of actions, and Kantianism – the idea of duty. These two ethical paradigms are amenable to the prevailing audit culture of HE. We argue that these ethical paradigms, while might be apposite for bio-medical research, are not appropriate for fieldwork in religion. However, because ethics should be a crucial consideration for all research, it is necessary to identify a different approach to ethical issues arising in ethnographic research. We suggest that a virtue ethics approach – concerned with character – is much more consistent with the situated, relational and ongoing nature of ethnographic research.