Marco Romito

The Reshaping of Academic Culture. Academic Subjects Navigating the Study-Success Policy Assemblage

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Academic profession, Study-success policies, Policy enactment, Technologies of evaluation, Actor-Network-Theory

This paper provides an analysis of academic actors’ entanglement with technologies of evaluation of students’ outcomes and aims to contribute to the sociological literature on how academic practices are reshaped by the NPM agenda. This aim is pursued using insights from Actor-Network Theory and from studies on social actors’ reactivity to performance indicators. In particular, the paper applies Callon’s sociology of translation (1984) to the education policy field as a heuristic tool to observe the complex and unstable interrelations configuring the enactment of study-success policies. It will be shown how this conceptual framing allows us to acknowledge and recognise: a) how a specific problematisation of study-success emerges and restructures the field in which academic practices are performed; b) the complex interplay between academic actors and the plethora of new materialities introduced in recent years to make academic work accountable and assessable; and c) the always open, controversial and contingent nature of policy enactment where different conceptions of academic goals and responsibility are continuously negotiated and reinvented.

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