Note:This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Intellectuals, Workers or Both? Intellectual Workers in the University
Author(s):ANTH 411_05-03
Abstract:This project asks the following questions: To what extent do different kinds of intellectual workers in a university see themselves as workers? How do professors and graduate students grapple with intellectual worker as an identity (or identities) and make meaning from it and for it? How are the lines between worker, intellectual and intellectual worker defined and negotiated by academics in their everyday lived lives? What makes different people frame and live the university differently? Do current job positions (as graduate student or professor), past experiences, childhood class position or something else shape the way people see themselves as workers and intellectuals? On the basis of internet research, interviews, and mapping exercises, this study finds that the ‘official’ or dominant narrative produced by many universities relies on the assumption that the university is a bastion of intellectual endeavors and fails to acknowledge its reliance upon the labor of teachers to produce the product it is selling (i.e. education). Despite this dominant narrative, several informants talk with great awareness of the university as a workplace, but simultaneously see themselves as intellectuals who are part of an intellectual community. The project includes a proposal for continued research.
Issue Date:2005-05-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-09-21

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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