20 SES 01, Session Zero: Framing and Reframing Universities and Network 20 in a Radically Changing Society; Rethinking Research Communities, Engagement and Civic Socialization
Within recent discussion about civic and political socialization there appears to be a tendency to analyze the fast expansion of non-democratic activity patterns in stable democracies (Feischmidt – Glózer – Illyés – Kasznár – Zakariás 2014; Holmes 2000; Halmai, Kalb 2011). Within this framework the paper is the final report of the Campus life project aimed to increase understanding of the roles played by universities as learning enviroments in generating new forms of communitarian engagement (http://campuslet.unideb.hu). Although some of the findings were already presented to the ECER community this paper specifically analyses forms, motivation and scenes of communities of student body at the University of Debrecen with an aim to understand the changing nature of communities (from communities of interpretation to communities of understanding) in a former collectivist country where the “rise of privacy” has fundamentally rewritten the forms of connectivity and the notion of communities (Halft, Krah 2012;Ritter 2008; Delanty 2003;Weintraub, Kumar 1997;Bauman 2000,). The public /private devide is central in higher education, however the concept of "the public sphere," is never settled and under constant strategic considerations (Williams 2016; Margison 2007). The core part of the paper is to expand the sociological imagination to think beyond the formal civic education in the higher educational sector and follow the process of institutionalization in the micro milieu of communities (Fraser 1990; Pollack, D. – Jacobs J. – Muller,O. – Pickel, G.2003). As a response to the increasing need for infrastructure parallel to the expansion of higher education 54 new institutions were established in Hungary in private – public partnership from 2003 to 2011. While many rely on macro perspectives in their account of how privatized higher educational institutions impact students’ behaviour in post-socialist countries, social scientists have rarely looked at how the seemingly irrelevant micro processes of the evolution of institutional culture add up to significant outcomes.
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