From researchers to academic entrepreneurs: a diachronic analysis of the visual representation of academics in university annual reports

Yi Deng, Dezheng Feng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Influenced by the global neoliberalization of higher education, academic entrepreneurialism has become a new paradigm of university development and has brought about profound changes in various types of university discourse. Against this backdrop, this study investigates the transformations in the visual depiction of academics in the annual reports of six major universities in Hong Kong during the past two decades. Drawing on critical visual analysis, the study shows that the communicative purposes of the images have shifted from reporting the research process to promoting research outcomes. The visual identities of academics have shown clear transformations of becoming increasingly individualized, entrepreneurial and self-promotional. With a higher degree of social interaction and closer social distance with viewers, they are playing an increasingly important role in building public relations. The study enriches the social analysis of neoliberalization as a process through the quantitative and diachronic lens. It demonstrates how a visual analytical method applied to the critical analysis of identity construction and university discourse can provide an explicit understanding of the visual manifestations of neoliberalism in higher education and its diachronic change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVisual Communication
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • annual report
  • content analysis
  • higher education
  • Hong Kong
  • neoliberal discourse
  • visual identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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