Is there a radical potential in the epidemic of student anxiety on today’s campuses? (Audio)

Today, the problem of anxiety among students on university campuses has reached epidemic proportion, gaining the attention and concern not only of university administrators and government officials but the general public as well.  What is wrong with the kids these days? In this presentation, Dr. Max Haiven, Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice and co-director of the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL) explores the link between this “epidemic” and financialization: the transformation of society towards an increasingly anxiety-inducing, cut-throat competitive idiom.

Recorded in Thunder Bay (Canada) in October of 2019, Haiven outlines a new research agenda he is pursuing with Dr. Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou (University College London) to explore the hidden radical potential of the anxiety epidemic. Without discounting the terrible toll it is taking on millions of young people or the challenges it poses to universities and their staff, Haiven and Komporozos-Athanasiou propose that it may represent a rejection of financialized society and hold the seeds for a different vision of the future. They see the university as a crucial site of struggle.

Komporozos-Athanasiou and Haiven’s writing on the subject can be found here:

In this recording

  • PART ONE: Introduction: Financialization and the anxiety epidemic (00:00 – 12:30)
  • PART TWO: Three individualizing explanations for a crisis of individualism (12:30 – 23:40)
  • PART THREE: Our era of financialization (23:40 – 40:19)
  • PART FOUR: The anxious university and the university of anxiety (40:19 – 54:03)
  • EPILOGUE: What comes next? (54:03-59:27)

Some of the charts and visuals referred to in the talk: