InSTEMnifying Youth: STEM, Capital, & Power
This paper analyzes the push from the federal government to get more institutions of higher education to graduate greater numbers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and educators. This push is based on research mostly coming from foundations and industries that employ STEM workers. Researchers question whether the STEM shortage is actually a reality or a myth driven by other factors. The author’s anecdotal experiences working for a university that prides itself on STEM are considered while offering a theory that policies and initiatives favoring STEM are but the latest instance of education being used as a tool of commerce. The theoretical implications of the push for STEM in universities are considered to question if a manufactured STEM “crisis” is just another insidious extension of neoliberal power into institutions and upon bodies in a Foucaultian sense.
Keywords: STEM, higher education, power, capital
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