Endogamy, in the biological sciences, is defined as inbreeding, mating among individuals of a population or race within a context of relative or absolute isolation. With this biological concept as a basis, the term has been used to define intellectual endogamy as the situation in which groups of people, with affinities of thought, exchange ideas primarily among themselves, minimizing both external and internal flow. In the case of this study, this concept came repeatedly in the interviews with academics that studied abroad and decided to return to Chile and it refers to the ways funding and academic conversations get co-opted. This article aims to describe and analyse the multiple ways the neoliberal regulation of knowledge is negotiated by the scholars who have studied abroad and are now conducting research within the university. It is the result of a broader study about academic mobility and the construction of knowledge in academia where the research question was how do mobile scholars, who have studied abroad and returned to their home country, narrate their academic experiences and understand how those experiences shape the ways in which they currently construct knowledge in their home country?
Intellectual endogamy appears as one of the main problems that scholars are challenging in the process of doing research once they finished their doctorates abroad and returned to the country. Thus, one of the main questions that guide this article has been how that intellectual endogamy is described by these scholars, how it becomes visible, possible, maintained and problematic in academia. In the case of Chile, the data gathered suggest that the construction of knowledge is highly regulated by an intellectual endogamy that is characterized by a conservatism and instrumentalism in doing research. This research encourages an expansion of the conversation about the ways academic mobility affects how knowledge is constructed, but overall, the results of this study invites us to think about the ways neoliberal regulation of construction of knowledge helps to maintain and reproduce conservatism in academia.
Contemporary Academic Work
Universities have a key role to play in positioning countries in the global economy (Morley 2016), and in developing nations knowledge economy has become the main notion that frame the competition for high skilled workers (Gribble and Blackmore 2012). Thus, knowledge has become an important aspect of economic growth, and a new form of capital in which to invest, value, and market as a private asset rather than a common good (Peters 2002). In order to answer this demand, besides internationalization policies (author), the transformation of universities has focused on the efficient funding of research and teaching, and good governance and better accountability systems (Peters 2002).
Contemporary discussions about the academic work have been focused in two main issues. First, the ways market values are intertwined in the construction of knowledge through neoliberal policies of financialization of the research process (Morley 2016, Connell 2013, Altbach 2015). The main discussion here spotlight that knowledge production from the academic research has become part of a neoliberal project that assess the market value over critical reflexive knowledge and academic freedom (Davies 2005, Butler 2006, Ball 2012, Gill 2014, Morley 2016).
Second, understanding neoliberalism as a project in which market is the best technology to accelerate the shift from discipline to control (Davies 2015), this regulation of the construction of knowledge entails new ways of doing academia (Guzman-Valenzuela and Barnett 2013, Morley 2016)., which spur the development of specific financing models, and interfere with traditional notions of academic and professional autonomy (Peters and Olssen 2005).
References Altbach, P. (2015). "What Counts for Academic Productivity in Research Universities." International Higher Education Winter(79): 6-7. Ball, S. (2012). "Performativity, Commodification and Commitment: An I-Spy Guide to the Neoliberal University." British Journal of Educational Studies 60(1): 17-28. Butler, J. (2006). Academic Norms, Contemporary Challenges: A Reply to Robert Post on Academic Freedom. Academic Freedom after September 11. B. Doumani. New York, Zone Books: 107–142. Connell, R. (2013). "The neoliberal cascade and education: an essay on the market agenda and its consequences." Critical Studies in Education 54(2): 99-112. Davies, B. (2005). "The (im)possibility of intellectual work in neoliberal regimes." Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 26(1): 1-14. Davies, W. (2015). "The Chronic Social: Relations of Control Within and Without Neoliberalism." New Formations(Winter): 40-57. Gill, R. (2014). "Academics, Cultural Workers and Critical Labour Studies." Journal of Cultural Economy 7(1): 12-30. Gribble, G. and J. Blackmore (2012). "Re-positioning Australia's international education in global knowledge economies: implications of shifts in skilled migration policies for universities." Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 34(4): 341-354. Guzman-Valenzuela, C. and R. Barnett (2013). "Academic Fragilities in a Marketised Age: The Case of Chile." British Journal of Educational Studies 61(2): 1-18. Morley, L. (2016). "Troubling intra-actions: gender, neoliberalism and research in the global economy." Journal of Education Policy 31(1): 28-45. Peters, M. (2002). "Universities, globalisation and the knowledge economy." Southern Review 35(2): 16-36. Peters, M. and M. Olssen (2005). "Neoliberalism, higher education and the knowledge economy: from the free market to knowledge capitalism." Journal of Education Policy 20(3): 313-345.
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