Post-humanist critical university ethnography: the potential of a critical-creative reconfiguration of critique

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Critical university ethnography often springs from the ethnographer’s own engagement in the university. Consequently, the university becomes a site for ethnography ‘at home’, often resulting in a critique that reinforces existing power relations by speaking the voice of those subject to power and criticising those in power. This chapter draws on post-humanist and socio-material perspectives in order to stimulate a rethinking of ethnographic research practices in ways that alter the existing power relations and create spaces to gather various university actors, such as managers, teachers and students. First, the chapter outlines two distinct characteristics of post-humanist and socio-material philosophies: the inclusion of more-than-human entities in ethnographic research, and a mode of analysis that involves proposals of new possible realities. Second, the chapter proposes a rearrangement of ethnographic research practices which includes a suggestion of entangled practices as the object of analysis, of co-constitutive and entangled relations as the analytical focus, and of new ways of relating human and more-than-human entities as the approach to formulating critique. Third, the chapter exemplifies the suggested approaches in an empirical analysis of the quality assurance that is done at universities as part of accreditation processes. The result is a critical-creative ethnography that avoids reproducing existing power relations and instead reframes and connects various purposes within the university.
TitelEthnography in Higher Education
RedaktørerClemens Wieser, Angela Pilch Ortega
Publikationsdato17 sep. 2020
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-658-30380-8
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-658-30381-5
StatusUdgivet - 17 sep. 2020
NavnDoing Higher Education