(Un)professionalisation or (Re)professionalisation of the Academic in the Brave New World?

Maria José Sá, Carlos Miguel Ferreira, Sandro Serpa

Abstract


In this article, we seek to provide an answer to the following research question: Is the academic profession, as a profession, going through a process of increasing proletarianisation, which is influenced by the new mission that is being implemented in universities (in a broad sense), in the sense of un-professionalisation, or are there new conditions for academics’ re-professionalisation experienced as a challenge? A meta-analysis of publications that focus directly on this topic was carried out, specifically through a conceptual analysis of the most recent literature addressing this topic. It is concluded that, in general, and notwithstanding institutional, local, regional, national and international specificities, there is some degree of academic’s un-professionalisation resulting from an increase in the functions ascribed to him/her by the political dimension that, in a context of increasing instability and control of his/her activity through the quantity and intensity of the functions to be carried out, may call into question academic autonomy, a basic foundation of the University. However, and concurrently with this un-professionalisation, there is a new context which could, under certain conditions, foster the enormous challenge of re-professionalisation (limited and under new conditions). As an implication of this work, there is a need to rethink this situation, which, if continued and deepened, will call into question the academic profession in some of its central dimensions, which may jeopardise the future sustainable development of our societies.


Keywords


Academic profession; academic; de-professionalisation; (re)professionalisation of the academic profession; digital scholarship; academic autonomy.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18662/po/73

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