This week on The Civic Sociologist podcast we will be mixing things up a bit. Rather than our traditional interview format, I'll be presenting a recording of a talk I gave at a recent conference in Manchester called 'Academics, Professionals and Publics: Changes in the Ecologies of Knowledge Work'. The talk is called 'A Processual Account of the Rise of the Modern University System' and tracks my on-going research into the long-term 'Academization Process' beginning in the early 19th century. I identify five factors contributing to emergence of the modern research university in Europe including changing class structures, imperialism and the changing roles of women and children. We can see two phases in this process, first a shift from the medieval to a modern elite university, then a second phase moving from elite to mass. Because contradictions embedded in the logic of the first phase have not been resolved, we can see a range of social issues and inequalities that are *caused* by further expansion of credentials today. This links us up with many of the themes we are interested in at Civic Sociology, including the rise of anti-expert populism and what we might do differently to better connect academics and professionals with the public and vice-versa.
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