Beyond cosmopolitans and locals: international research collaboration and academic identity formation
(Leibniz Universität Hannover )
Romy Wöhlert (University of Leipzig)
Paper short abstract:
International research collaboration has become a regular practice throughout disciplines since the 1970s. In our paper, we ask in what ways international research collaborations contribute to academic identity formation and analyze facets of international academic identities.
Paper long abstract:
As described in the panel's abstract, the ways of being a scientist have changed. One salient aspect of change is international research collaboration, which has become a regular practice throughout disciplines since the 1970s. In our paper, we conceptualize ithe ways contemporary international research collaborations affect academic identity formation and analyze facets of international academic identities. We argue based on a constructivist and communitarian concept of identity (Giddens, Hall) that it is an interactive process between individuals and their significant communities. Academic identities are embedded in and emerge from the scholar's professional (and personal) history and socialization, and are shaped by the beliefs, practices, and values of their significant disciplinary, institutional, professional, and local/national communities and contexts (Clark, 1987; Välimaa, 1998; Henkel, 2005). Thus, whereas traditional considerations (e.g., Gouldner, 1957) have described international orientations of academics as unitary and as a dichotomy of cosmopolitans vs. locals, we conceptualize them as pluralistic and fluid. Consequently, it is also insufficient to primarily define collaboration as international due to different national institutional affiliations. Instead, it is necessary to distinguish multiple facets of international academic identities. Clark, B. R. (1987). The Academic Profession: National, Disciplinary, and Institutional Settings. Univ of California Press. Gouldner, A. W. (1957). Cosmopolitans and Locals: Towards an Analysis of Latent Social Roles I. Administrative Science Quarterly, 2(3), 281-306. Henkel, M. (2005). Academic Identity and Autonomy in a Changing Policy Environment. Higher Education, 49(1-2), 155-176. Välimaa, J. (1998). Culture and Identity in Higher Education Research. Higher Education, 36(2), 119-138.
Scientists - agents under construction