An introduction to the social structures of global academia

Fabian Cannizzo, Nick Osbaldiston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


This chapter introduces the contributions to this volume and also frames them in a global political economy and academia as a global practice. Research by scholars such as Steven Ward have laid the groundwork for understanding how global political economy influences the organisation of academic work, while others have explored how academics work in changing national settings, such as Mary Henkel, Tony Becher, Paul Trowler and Pierre Bourdieu. Sociologists such as Robert Merton and Max Weber have also historically attempted to define what is unique about scientific communities, while Edward Shils and others have commented on academia more specifically. This chapter has two parts: First, it presents an overview of theoretical perspectives of academic work within a globalised world. The global political economy of education, developments in technology that invoke a ‘digital academic’, what is valued by academics and universities, and how academics are responding to their environments individually and collectively: These phenomena cannot be divorced from the communities and networks in which academics live and work. Both work and non-work life for academics are increasingly mobile, precarious, entrepreneurial, networked, individualised and mystified. Second, this chapter critically examines the nature of study within this field, including this volume, and considers what needs to be done in moving forward.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Social Structures of Global Academia
EditorsFabian Cannizzo, Nick Osbaldiston
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429879883, 9780429465857
ISBN (Print)9781138610125
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Sociology

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