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Title: University education and the culture of social participation in Bulgaria
Author: Mateeva, A.
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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This research explores the unconscious processes that occurred on organizational as well as on individual level in an academic institution in Bulgaria when the task for liberalization of higher education system in the country has been set as university mission. Using a combination of action research and psycho-social methods this study focuses mainly on the implementation of four practical interventions in organizational culture that tended to increase the opportunities for more democratic, cooperative and caring relationships between its members. It has been assumed that such kind of change a) will facilitate the process of students’ personal development as socially engaged citizens in opposition to the traditional public passivity and conformity; b) will stimulate staff engagement with its values and mission creating balance with the more individualistic entrepreneurial tendencies in the organization, and c) will encourage more appreciative and supportive student – teacher relationships that could challenge the traditional authoritarian style of education in the country. The analysis of the data is done in this study when exploring three types of relations in the organization: a) the horizontal relations of collaboration within the academic community; b) the powerful hierarchical relations between the formal roles in the organization; and c) the learning relations between teachers and students. The findings demonstrate how a) under the pressures for fast change of role identities and habits during the transition period and b) in the presence of ‘discredited public relations in the mind’ raised during the socialism culture of relationships is co-created by the members that marginalizes the efforts for collaboration, evokes totalitarian type of leadership and deprives the process of learning and change. Some opportunities for overcoming such dynamics are seen in what Lowrence suggests as ‘politics of revelation’ and in the creation of informal spaces for individual and group reflection and dialogue.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available