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Epistemic (In)justice

McLean, Monica


Monica McLean


It can be useful to think of the injustices of higher education as occurring in three phases: coming into higher education (access); being at university (participation); and going out of university into the rest of life (outcomes). I bracket for now all the systemic inequalities of access, that is, the barriers to entering higher education connected to poverty and deprivation; social class, age and ethnic background; type of school; and geographical location. Bracketed, too, are the systemic inequities when students leave universities to go into employment, whereby, on the one hand, the graduate premium appears to be lessening for poorer students, and on the other, students from high-status universities monopolise high-status, well-paid jobs in the global labour market (Brown and Lauder, 2017). From this view, a higher education qualification has become a positional good of diminishing value to historically excluded groups.


McLean, M. (2020). Epistemic (In)justice. In Locating Social Justice in Higher Education Research. London: Bloomsbury Publishing

Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 19, 2020
Publication Date Mar 19, 2020
Deposit Date Dec 11, 2018
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Book Title Locating Social Justice in Higher Education Research
ISBN 9781350086753
Public URL

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