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Att bli bemött och att bemöta: En studie om meritering i tillsättning av lektorat vid Uppsala universitet
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (Praxeologi)
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general purpose of this thesis is to contribute to further understanding of the academic appointment process explored and defined as participation in a collegial educational process. The appointment process for academic positions has historically been regulated by state authorities ever since the first university was established in Sweden and has continuously been questioned for necessity, procedure etc. The object of study is the appointment process focusing the consideration of teaching skill in appointing academic teachers. A theoretical construction is used as a method in order to grasp what the experts and applicants consider.

The thesis draws theoretical inspiration from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu especially his work on social practice and his explanations within praxeological knowledge. In this thesis cultural capital, habitus and doxa are used as concepts for constructing a social practice. Inspired by Bourdieu’s concepts, the appointment process is made visible grounded on documentation: judgments of qualifications written by external experts and the applicants’ documentation in their applications.

The empirical material on merits is analyzed according to Bourdieu’s indicators on symbolic capacities. The disposition of habitus (as an inner organizing principle) is limited to cultural capital and background demographic data. The indicators on scientific skill are also transmitted into symbolic capacities on teaching skill. Three appointments as assistant professors are analyzed, framed by information on advertisement, description of documentation, time lapse and final decision in appointment committees.

The main conclusions are that the experts select whom to appoint using their practical sense unaware of the driving forces, explained as social practice. The experts act in line with the purpose of the assignment and they follow all the rules and instructions. Teaching skill is focused by the applicants and experts as practical mastery in the subject field (pedagogical authority). Selection is explained by the concept of habitus. Another conclusion is the tendency to “nuanced” co-optation similar to when appointments were made by self selection and teaching ability was important in early 19th century. A final conclusion is that in positioning of arguments in shared beliefs (doxa) in questioning the appointment process, researchers in the early years of this century represent heterodox opinions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. , 203 p.
Uppsala Studies in Education, ISSN 0347-1314 ; 136
Keyword [en]
appointment process, collegiality, academic positions, merits, peer review, expert judgment, applicant, social practice, theory of practice, cultural capital, habitus, doxa, practical sense, scientific skill, pedagogical skill, praxeological knowledge, co-optation, research university, degree university, Bourdieu.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234705ISBN: 978-91-554-9090-4OAI: diva2:757656
Public defence
2014-12-15, Sal IX, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-11-24 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2015-01-27

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Gunvik-Grönbladh, Ingegerd
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