Duration: 2019-2022, Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF)
Cultures of Excellence in Academia. The uptake of discourses around quality among economists in Germany and the UK
The research project investigates “cultures of excellence” in teaching and research in economic sciences (economics, management, finance, accounting, marketing and so forth). It starts form the idea that scientific excellence cannot be reduced to positions at the top of hierarchy of academic reputation. Rather, excellence in research and teaching appears at multiple situations, places and career stages in academia. The project takes an international and sub-disciplinary comparative perspective by focusing on several subfields in Germany and the United Kingdom. The aim of the project is to investigate how quality assurance procedures are realized in daily academic practices of research and teaching and how "cultures of excellence" contribute to establishing new professional job descriptions, quality-related career paths and quality-oriented career perspectives. My analysis focuses on the interplay of traditional disciplinary path dependencies and transformative innovations induced by discourses of excellence. Against this background, the project highlights the hybridity of new academic cultures in heterogeneous disciplinary and national contexts. The project is based on the idea that a comparative perspective can help us to understand how quality is established, lived and changed in research and teaching at very different levels. For this reason, the project makes narrative-biographical interviews with professors, experienced junior scientists (postdocs) as well as doctoral candidates. The aim of the project is to analyse how quality assurance procedures a) get access to everyday life in research and teaching and b) impact academic biographies, career perspectives and academic positions. The findings will help us to learn how quality assurance procedures and discourses of excellence can be changed and further developed in order to promote good academic practice
Keywords: discourses of excellence, quality assurance, economic sciences, academic careers, interview
Laufzeit: 2011-2015, Volkswagenstiftung
Financial expert discourse.The production, circulation and transformation of heterogeneous knowledge in financial economics between market, state and academia.
Contemporary knowledge societies in the age of de-traditionalisation, globalisation and informationalisation depend increasingly on expert systems. Whether in child care, health, education or investment – more and more people resort to expert knowledge as information for orientation and problem solving within both their professional and private lives. This applies in particular to the sphere of finance. Financial markets are markets of knowledge as investors’ purchase and sales decisions are based exclusively on the knowledge about the creditworthiness of securities. However: the seller of a security often knows more about the creditworthiness of the paper than the purchaser. This asymmetry of knowledge on financial markets mobilises experts – financial economists - who analyse financial markets, produce expert knowledge and make this knowledge available to different expert fields. This research project aims at an analysis of the financial markets from the perspective of the sociology of science. By combining discourse analytical, documentary and ethnographic methods it will examine the ways of production and logics of communication of financial economics between science, state and economy.