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The famous philosophical conceptions of the Open University from the Enlightenment to postmodern thought are discussed in this book along with the major writings in modern social theory on the university, such as those of Weber, Parsons, Habermas, Gadamer, Lyotard and Bourdieu. In this far reaching contribution to the sociology of knowledge, Delanty views the university as a key institution of modernity and as the site where knowledge, culture and society interconnect. He assesses the question of the crisis of the university with respect to issues such as globalization, the information age, the nation state, academic capitalism, cultural politics and changing relationships between research and teaching. Arguing against the notion of the demise of the university, his argument is that in the knowledge society of today a new identity for the university is emerging based on communication and new conceptions of citizenship. It should appeal to those interested in changing relationships between modernity, knowledge, higher education and the future of the university.
Gerard Delanty is Professor of Sociology in the University of Liverpool, UK.