Tribes, Territories and Tribal Reservations

Bamber, Veronica (2012) Tribes, Territories and Tribal Reservations. In: Department of Educational Research Seminar Series, 30 May 2012, Lancaster University. (Unpublished)

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This seminar discusses ideas explored in a recent (Jan 2012) book edited by Trowler, Saunders and Bamber entitled ‘Tribes and territories in the 21st-century: Rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education’. The book updates a subject initially dealt with by Tony Becher in ‘Academic Tribes and Territories: Intellectual enquiry and the culture of disciplines’ in 1989, and revisited by Becher and Trowler in 2001. The book’s underpinning perspective of Social Practice Theory leads the authors to question the value of the ‘tribes’ metaphor, which seems to pin academic disciplines to relatively stable group epistemologies, and underplay the role of other complex, non-epistemological factors such as context. While the tribes metaphor still has merit, and doubtless emotional appeal, the assumption that tribal members share a relatively coherent set of practices, values and standard approaches to activities like teaching and research is now less convincing in times of interdisciplinary working, institutional and departmental accountability, and the intensification of academic labour – to mention just a few of the drivers and influences we are all too aware of. This seminar discusses some of these drivers, and looks at examples from a range of disciplines and countries.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Centre for Academic Practice
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2012 08:36
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 15:41


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