Academic domains as political battlegrounds: A global enquiry by 99 academics in the fields of education and technology

Abdulrahman Al Lily, Jed Foland, David Stoloff, Aytac Gogus, Inan Deniz Erguvan, Mapotse Tome Awshar, Jo Tondeur, Michael Hammond, Isabella M. Venter, Paul Jerry, Dimitrios Vlachopoulos, Aderonke Oni, Yuliang Liu, Radim Badosek, Maria Cristina Lopez de la Madrid, Elvis Mazzoni, Hwansoo Lee, Khamsum Kinley, Marco Kalz, Uyanga SambuuTatiana Bushnaq, Niels Pinkwart, Nafisat Afolake Adedokun-Shittu, Pär-Ola Mikael Zander, Kevin Oliver, Lucia Maria Teixeira Pombo, Jale Balaban Sali, Sue Gregory, Sonam Tobgay, Mike Joy, Jan Elen, Mustafa Odeh Helal Jwaifell, Mood Nihra Haruzuan Mohamad Said, Yeslam Al-Saggaf, Antoanela Naaji, Julie White, Kathy Jordan, Jackie Gerstein, Ibrahim Umit Yapici, Camilius Sanga, Paul Nleya, Boubker Sbihi, Margarida Rocha Lucas, Victor Mbarika, Torsten Reiners, Sandra Schön, Laura Sujo-Montes, Mohammad Santally, Päivi Häkkinen, Abdulkarim Al Saif, Andreas Gegenfurtner, Steven Schatz, Virginia Padilla Vigil, Catherine Tannahill, Zuochen Zhang, Kyriacos Charalambous, Antonio Moreira, Mayela Coto, Kumar Laxman, Helen Sara Farley, Mishack Gumbo, Ali Simsek, E. Ramganeh, Rita Birzina, Catarina Player-Koro, Roza Dumbraveanu, Mmankoko Ziphorah, Nawaz Mohamudally, Sara Thomas, Margarida Romero, Mungamuru Nirmala, Laura Cifuentes, Raja Zuhair Khaled Osaily, Ajayi Clemency Omoogun, Sadi Seferoglu, Alec Elci, Dave Edyburn, Kannan Moudgalya, Martin Ebner, Rosa Maria Bottino, Elaine Khoo, Luis Pedro, Hanadi Buarki, Clara Roman-Odio, Ijaz Quereshi, Mahbub Ahsan Khan, Carrie Thornthwaite, Sulushash Kerimkulova, Toni Downes, Lauri Malmi, Salih Bardakci, Jamil Itmazi, Jim Rogers, Soonil Rughooputh, Mohammed Ali Akour, Bryan Henderson, Sara de Freitas, PG Schrader

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Abstract

This article theorizes the functional relationship between the human components (i.e., scholars) and non-human components (i.e., structural configurations) of academic domains. It is organized around the following question: in what ways have scholars formed and been formed by the structural configurations of their academic domain? The article uses as a case study the academic domain of education and technology to examine this question. Its authorship approach is innovative, with a worldwide collection of academics (99 authors) collaborating to address the proposed question based on their reflections on daily social and academic practices. This collaboration followed a three-round process of contributions via email. Analysis of these scholars’ reflective accounts was carried out, and a theoretical proposition was established from this analysis. The proposition is of a mutual (yet not necessarily balanced) power (and therefore political) relationship between the human and non-human constituents of an academic realm, with the two shaping one another. One implication of this proposition is that these non-human elements exist as political ‘actors’, just like their human counterparts, having ‘agency’ – which they exercise over humans. This turns academic domains into political (functional or dysfunctional) ‘battlefields’ wherein both humans and non-humans engage in political activities and actions that form the identity of the academic domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-288
JournalInformation Development
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • educational technology
  • power
  • organisational politics
  • academic domains
  • crowd authoring

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    Al Lily, A., Foland, J., Stoloff, D., Gogus, A., Erguvan, I. D., Awshar, M. T., Tondeur, J., Hammond, M., Venter, I. M., Jerry, P., Vlachopoulos, D., Oni, A., Liu, Y., Badosek, R., Lopez de la Madrid, M. C., Mazzoni, E., Lee, H., Kinley, K., Kalz, M., ... Schrader, PG. (2016). Academic domains as political battlegrounds: A global enquiry by 99 academics in the fields of education and technology. Information Development, 33(3), 270-288. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266666916646415