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Title: Pressure points in academic life : disciplinary knowledge, identity, and the audit culture
Author: Pearson, David.
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2002
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Using data from semi-structured depth interviews with sixty-seven male academics sampled from four disciplines (physics, chemistry, philosophy, music) in each of two universities, the research illuminates everyday academic life and how academics talk about key pressure points of research, teaching, and the audit culture. Through this context, a deep understanding is acquired about various kinds of social knowledge embedded in academic communities, the social construction of academic success and failure, and the meaning for members of each discipline of the Research Assessment Exercise, the doctorate, academic controversies, tensions within disciplines, and lifestyle. The research draws from several sociological traditions: a variety of work in sociology of higher education, including work on disciplinary cultures and recent studies of audit; sociology of scientific knowledge; and work stemming from sociology of the professions and Cardiff's ethnographic tradition. The findings have implications for the pressures facing scientists working in HEIs and the particular needs of subsets of the sciences, humanities, and research and teaching communities. In particular, the research illuminates the significance of group culture and the shifting nature of success and exclusion, of which an understanding is needed for addressing inequalities in higher education. Academic pressure points - most notably the RAE - are shown to have had a significant impact on academic identities and academic work. The findings also show the importance of social interaction for sustaining a successful learning culture or maintaining a research tradition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available