22 SES 12 D, Meta-Narratives, Trajectories and Practices in the Academic Field: Tracing “Internationalization”
The two session symposium “Meta-Narratives, Trajectories and Practices in the Academic Field” analyzes programmatics and semantics (Weber et al. 2014) of global academic, political and economical discourses which enter policies as well as institutional strategies, academic cooperation and the trajectories of academic career paths in Europe and beyond. By focusing on the two Meta-Narratives “Internationalization” and “Interdisciplinarity”, the symposium looks into the nexus between power, knowledge and the transformation of academia by social practices in academic settings analyzed as academic field (Bourdieu 2004, 2008). Whereas the first session of the symposium focuses on the Meta-Narrative of ‘Internationalization’, the second session analyzes the Meta-Narrative of “Interdisciplinarity”. Both closely connected sessions refer to policies and social practices in academic institutions as basis of empirical analysis. The session with focus on “Internationalization” comprises three thematically closely connected contributions from Finland, Sweden and Germany, the session on “Interdisciplinarity” includes thematically closely connected papers from Turkey, Sweden and Germany.
Interested in a global perspective and the nexus between knowledge, power and transformation, discourse analytical approaches to social and institutional change analyze the present condition of the University. What is the PowerKnowledge (Foucault), which allows specific meta-narratives “to travel” (Cziarnawska / Sevón 2005)? Liesner (2005), Araya and Peters (2010), Masschelein (2012) and Weber (2013) see shifts in education policy towards the “entrepreneurial university”. Liesner (2006), Maasen and Weingart (2008) as well as Angermüller (2010 a,b) critically discuss academic trends and tendencies of bureaucratization. Academic teaching is being critically reflected, too (Mielich et al. 2011, Narr 2011; Pazzini 2011). Those major shifts are regarded as “epistemic drift” (Elzinga 1985) of the academic field (Münch 2007, 2011).
Based on Foucauldian and Bourdieusian theoretical perspectives, the first session of the symposium connects the analytical levels of underlying rationalities, policies, institutional strategies and social practices and suggests the connection of discourseanalytical (Foucault) and practicetheoretical perspectives on the academic field (Bourdieu 2004, 2008). In this perspective, besides “Interdisciplinarity” (which is discussed in session two) “Internationalization” becomes a powerful knowledge - a “Meta-Narrative”, which organizes orientation patterns of academic discourses, of policies at global and European level and plays out differently in specific disciplines, institutions or working contexts. Secondly, it is to be analyzed as social practice.
Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti and Karen Ashby (Finland / Canada) discuss the different rationalities and notions of “Internationality” – and identify different patterns, value sets and ethical standpoints. In a critical perspective the authors suggest an internationalization in higher education, where the ethical dimensions of dissent, intelligibility and solidarity play a role.
The second paper by Annika Bergviken-Rensfeld (Sweden) discusses the entering of global discourses into European policy papers and documents and their relevance for national and institutional strategies. She shows, how internationalization operates as a governing discourse upon curricular knowledge dimensions in recent PhD Education reform.
The third paper presented by Jörg Schwarz and Franziska Teichmann (Germany) shows the presence of internationalization in the daily actions of academia in specific (inter)disciplinary fields. Be it working languages in academic PhD-programs or teams or the internationality of peers in academia - in a Bourdieusian perspective, the meta-narrative “internationality” becomes part of academic working cultures and an „asset-to-have“ for the career paths of young academics.
In total, the first session of the symposium analyzes the travelling (Cziarniawska / Sevón 2005) of the powerknowledge “Internationality” into academic institutions, disciplines and settings and the connected value sets and path creation. It addresses the “making of academics” within global “Meta-Narratives” and the theoretical and methodological perspectivity within the chosen research approaches.
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