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Fighting for e/quality: comparative ethnographies of new student movements

Projekter: ProjektForskning

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In recent years, a growing number of students globally have strongly criticised their universities for re-producing problematic and discriminating hierarchies of knowledge and people. In different ways, they have mobilised to make higher education a more socially just space for all students. This has creatively opened up spaces for debates on the quality of public higher education towards questions of equality, decolonisation and marginalised ways of knowing.

Based on comparative ethnographic studies at public universities in the USA, the UK, South Africa and Denmark, this research project aims to investigate the role and meaning of students’ claims and actions for a more socially just public university across different national and institutional contexts.

By gaining empirical insight into selected spaces of political and academic contestation in different countries, the overall project aims to contribute to ongoing debates around how to balance values of equality and diversity with unfettered speech, and whether different criteria for knowledge production and critical debate could and should be promoted in different places.

The overall project is grounded in social anthropology and aims to develop a fine-grained conceptualisation of how knowledge and power are re-shaped through the interconnectivity of different spatialities (i.e. how places, activist networks and socio-spatial positionalities co-implicate each other in new ways). In doing so, it also draws on Jacques Rancière’s thinking on political action, equality and the nature of the common or public good.

The project is financed by DFF, the Independent Research Fund Denmark and lasts from 1/2 2020 until 31/1 2023.

Effektiv start/slut dato01/01/202031/12/2022


  • Kvalitet i de videregående uddannelser, ligestilling and antidiskrimination, akademisk frihed, dekolonisering

ID: 167590605