The academy and community:seeking authentic voices inside higher education

Bounford, Julie E. (2015) The academy and community:seeking authentic voices inside higher education. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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The research explores ‘community’ as perceived and experienced by academics associated with one higher education institution. Focusing on the meaning and experience of community, the research reveals living academic identities wrought by the concrete reality of experiencing community in its various forms. ‘Authentic voices’ in this context means voices that are firmly rooted in day-­‐to-­‐day lived experience and not abstract or institutionalised. The imperative for the research lies in the quest to break free from the constraints of the calculative thinking that pervades higher education. The dominant tone of the literature on academic community is disconsolate but not despairing. The dominant language is that of professional practice and values. The empirical dimensions of the research comprises a series of extended conversations and focus groups with twelve academics and a heuristic analysis, channelled through five themes, seeking the individual’s idea and experience of community and its orientation to their status, their academic practice and their institution and environment. The original contribution to knowledge is the revelation of the significance of value and values in the meaning and experience of community and how these may be applied in a theoretical and practical context when constructing and understanding community both as a concept, and as lived experience. Value and values are brought together in a suggested new model (called the ‘infinity model’), a relational construct that signifies the formation and experience of community through a continual or infinite dynamic between ‘value and validity’ (centred on status and institution), and ‘values and virtue’ (centred on practice and elements of community), realised through the nexus of individual or collective agency. The new model has research and agentic potential as a framework for both investigating and realising the social relations of the intellectual field.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 09:35
Last Modified: 04 May 2016 09:35


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