This literature review presents a bridge between current use of critical theories in student affairs and contemporary political critiques of higher education. Critical theories in student affairs have been used in professional philosophy statements, student development theories, as well as new works of research exploring student experiences and campus practices. Particularly, Critical Race Theory (CRT), feminisms, and queer theory are salient in a number of works using critical theories in student affairs. Applications of critical theories in student affairs do not include a thorough interrogation of the political economic environment surrounding higher education and its relevant implications. Academic capitalism has been used to understand how shifting political conditions have encouraged universities to move closer to the market by taking part in market and market-like activities. Themes in research around emerging Academy-Industry Relations (AIRs) and their impacts present a number of patterns relevant to student affairs practice. Application of the themes in academic capitalism results in a number of areas for future consideration including equity and access to higher education, responsibility of student affairs professionals to navigate changing political climates, and a pressing need for philosophical examination of professional practice and relevance within the current political context of higher education.
Patton, Anna L.
"From Individual Difference to Political Analysis: An Emerging Application of Critical Theory in Student Affairs,"
Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: https://ecommons.luc.edu/jcshesa/vol2/iss1/5