22 SES 14 B, Let’s Do Something New! Current Research and Practice on Aspects of Professionalization in Academic Development
The fragmented nature of Academic Development has been raised as an issue by various authors (Clegg, 2012; Shay, 2012). Within this debate, sociological theories of the professions can be used as one approach to reflect current developments in AD in order to shed new light on the discourse of the professionalization of AD. In the view of the symbolic interactionism research of professions, professional work is a specific form of occupational action (Combe & Helsper 1996, p. 9) wherein subjects always have to deal with unsolvable paradoxical problems and contradictory tendencies of orientation towards the handling of clients' problems (i.e. Schütze 2000, Oevermann 1996). The research project Professional Academic Development and its Institutionalization aims to reconstruct the problems, paradoxes and contradictory tendencies academic developers experience in their daily work through episodic interviews with N=19 German academics working in this area. The paper will present findings with a special focus on the influence of different forms of institutionalization of AD on academic developers’ understanding of AD as a field requiring professional actions. In the symposium the findings will also be discussed in terms of their validity.
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