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Reflecting on the mobile academic

Auto-ethnographic writing in the knowledge economy

Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich

This article examines what it means to be an academic in the knowledge economy, using auto-ethnographic writing or storytelling as its starting point. Although academic mobility has been researched for about a decade, deep listening and deep reading in the context of ethnography have not been utilised in analysing what it means to move in this global space. To conduct this exercise, fellows from the European Union-funded Universities in the Knowledge Economy project who were all mobile academics, were invited to participate in ethnographic writing workshops and explore the personal, subjective elements of narrating their experiences of being mobile and being migrants. I aim to not only present the narratives of colleagues who populate the global knowledge economy but also analyse them and ask if certain ideal forms of narrative habitus support academic mobility.

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Learn to Consume, Teach to Account?

Anwar Tlili and Susan Wright

The UK government's 2004 law, aiming to make universities contribute to Britain's success in the global knowledge economy, creates an explicit market in higher education. Students are presumed to occupy the status of consumer in an economic transaction with universities. The law gives students a right to information and an audit function so that their choices as 'intelligent consumers' will 'drive change' in universities. Interviews in two contrasting universities explore students' responses to this discourse and reveal their different aspirations and concepts of education. Yet they share doubts that regimes of audit and notions of accountability to consumers will not make their voices really 'count'.

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Beyond the multiversity

Neoliberalism and the rise of the schizophrenic university

Cris Shore

The restructuring of New Zealand's universities is often considered a paradigmatic case of neo‐liberal reform and governance. While tertiary education is increasingly central to government's ideas about the future global knowledge economy, a new set of discourses has emerged around universities and their role that draws together different, often contradictory, agendas. This heralds not the death of the liberal idea of the university but a shift towards a new, multi‐layered conception in which universities are expected to fulfil a plethora of different functions. This article examines the implications of this emerging ‘schizophrenic university’ paradigm and its effects on academic subjectivities.

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Book Reviews

Mari Hvattum, Brita Brenna, Beate Elvebakk and Janike Kampevold Larsen, eds., Routes, Roads and Landscapes Kevin James

Joe T. Darden and Richard W. Thomas, Detroit: Race Riots, Racial Conflicts, and Efforts to Bridge the Racial Divide Bruce Pietrykowski

Adria Imada, Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire Chase Smith

Noel B. Salazar, Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond Julia Harrison

Leon Fink, Sweatshops at Sea: Merchant Seamen in the World's First Globalized Industry, from 1812 to the Present John T. Grider

Diana Glenn, Eric Bouvet and Sonia Floriani, eds., Imagining Home: Migrants and the Search for a New Belonging Irene Belperio

Thomas Birtchnell, Indovation: Innovation and a Global Knowledge Economy in India Kevin Hannam

Giuseppina Pellegrino, ed., The Politics of Proximity Jonas De Vos and Frank Witlox

John Parkin, ed., Cycling and Sustainability Manuel Stoffers

Luis Vivanco, Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing Matthew Calarco

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Staying Tuned

Connections beyond ‘the Field’

Geoffrey Hughes and Anna-Maria Walter


Ethnographers today find themselves experimenting with new approaches to digital ethnography amid pandemic-related restrictions on research. Yet such developments only accelerate a broader trend toward the dissolution of the traditional ethnographic ‘field’ due to new communications technologies and the emergence of a globalized ‘knowledge economy’. Through six contributions from around the world, this forum explores how the emergence of a more diffuse, interconnected ethnographic field is impacting fieldwork's status as a rite of passage, creating new affective entanglements and shifting power relationships between researchers and participants. Despite the potential for influence and surveillance that new technologies cede to already powerful institutions, the discussions underline how ethnographic interlocutors are auteurs in their own right—and that ethnographers are also often bit characters in other people's stories.

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Recreating universities for the public good: Pathways to a better world

Susan Wright and Davydd J. Greenwood

book reviews. Barbara Grant reviews positively Nielsen’s Figuration Work: Student Participation, Democracy and University Reform in a Global Knowledge Economy . She highlights the strengths of this ethnography and how it provokes readers to reflect on

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Peripheries within the higher education centres

Internationalisation experiences in Finland and UK

Sonja Trifuljesko and On Hee Choi

candidates felt anxiety about their status was because yet another reconstruction of doctoral education was underway, attempting to make it more compatible with the ‘global knowledge economy’ principles ( Trifuljesko 2021 ). The April forum of doctoral

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Part 4: Universities in the Knowledge Economy

Pavel Zgaga, Corina Balaban, Miguel Antonio Lim, Janja Komljenovic, Amélia Veiga, António M. Magalhães, and Jakob Williams Ørberg

orientations but with a common research interest: how the processes of creating regional and global knowledge economies are redefining the nature and scope of universities. The horizon within which this question was posed was, of course, very broad, which is

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Book Reviews

Barbara Grant and Penny Welch

Gritt B. Nielsen (2015) Figuration Work: Student Participation, Democracy and University Reform in a Global Knowledge Economy New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 266pp., ISBN: 978-1-78238-771-8 (hbk); 978-1-78238-772-5 (ebk) ‘The

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From steward to leader

A decade of shifting roles for the PhD student

Corina Balaban

a manifestation of globalisation, in a sense that it is a response to the rising demand for knowledge workers in what is commonly called the globalknowledge economy’. Globalisation, understood in this context as ‘the intensified movement of goods