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

Al Lily, Abdulrahman E. and Foland, Jed and Stoloff, David and Gogus, Aytac and Erguvan, Inan Deniz and Awshwar, Mapotse Tome and Tondeur, Jo and Hammond, Michael and Venter, Isabella M. and Jerry, Paul and Vlachopoulos, Dimitrios and Oni, Aderonke and Liu, Yuliang and Badosek, Radim and Lopez de la Madrid, Maria Cristina and Mazzoni, Elvis and Lee, Hwansoo and Kinley, Khamsum and Kalz, Marco and Sambuu, Uyanga and Bushnaq, Tatiana and Pinkwart, Niels and Adedokun-Shittu, Nafisat Afolake and Zander, Par-Ola Mikael and Oliver, Kevin and Pombo, Lucia Maria Teixeira and Sali, Jale Balaban and Gregory, Sue and Tobgay, Sonam and Joy, Mike and Elen, Jan and Jwaifell, Mustafa Odeh Helal and Said, Mohd Nihra Haruzuan Mohamad and Al-Saggaf, Yeslam and Naaji, Antoanela and White, Julie and Jordan, Kathy and Gerstein, Jackie and Yapici, Ibrahim Umit and Sanga, Camilius and Nleya, Paul T. and Sbihi, Boubker and Lucas, Margarida Rocha and Mbarika, Victor and Reiners, Torsten and Schon, Sandra and Sujo-Montes, Laura and Santally, Mohammad and Hakkinen, Paivi and Al Saif, Abdulkarim and Gegenfurtner, Andreas and Schatz, Steven and Vigil, Virginia Padilla and Tannahill, Catherine and Partida, Siria Padilla and Zhang, Zuochen and Charalambous, Kyriacos and Moreira, António Augusto de Freitas Gonçalves and Coto, Mayela and Laxman, Kumar and Farley, Helen Sara and Gumbo, Mishak T. and Simsek, Ali and Ramganesh, E. and Birzina, Rita and Player-Koro, Catarina and Dumbraveanu, Roza and Ziphorah, Mmankoko and Mohmudally, Nawaz and Thomas, Sarah and Romero, Margarita and Nirmala, Mungamuru and Cifuentes, Lauren and Osaily, Raja Zuhair Khaled and Omoogun, Ajayi Clemency and Seferoglu, S. Sadi and Elçi, Alev and Edyburn, Dave and Moudgalya, Kannan and Ebner, Martin and Bottino, Rosa and Khoo, Elaine and Pedro, Luis and Buarki, Hanadi and Román-Odio, Clara and Qureshi, Ijaz A. and Khan, Mahbub Ahsan and Thornthwaite, Carrie and Kerimkulova, Sulushash and Downes, Toni and Malmi, Lauri and Bardakci, Salih and Itmazi, Jamil and Rogers, Jim and Rughooputh, Soonil D.D.V. and Akour, Mohammed Ali and Henderson, J. Bryan and de Freitas, Sarah and Schrader, P. G. (2017) Academic domains as political battlegrounds: a global enquiry by 99 academics in the fields of education and technology. Information Development , 33 (3). pp. 270-288. ISSN 0266-6669


This article theorises the functional relationship between the human components (i.e., scholars) and non-human components (i.e., structural configurations) of academic domains. It is organised 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 e-mail. 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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Academic Division - Digital Life Lab (7 Jul 2016 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Academic Division - Digital Life Lab (7 Jul 2016 -)
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2016 04:27
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 05:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: education; technology; academia; power; organisational politics; academic domain
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390405 Educational technology and computing
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
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