Local Chairs vs International Networks: the Beginning of the Scholarly Career in a Peripheral Academic Field

Article

Abstract

Sensitive to the differences between centers and peripheries of knowledge production, this article explores how scholars in peripheral fields use knowledge from central fields to structure their academic careers. The article presents the findings of a case study of career choices of political scientists in Argentina. In order to understand the interplay between foreign knowledge and local strategies of enacting networks, this article focuses on the beginning of academic careers. At this early stage, political scientists in Argentina usually have to make a decision whether to stay in the country or go abroad for postgraduate education. Relying on positioning theory and recent developments in Science and Technology Studies, we identified two alternative positioning strategies. Those who stay in Argentina tend to hoard as many scholarly positions as possible, enacting local networks oriented towards teaching. Scholars who go abroad enact networks with international dimensions, in the process enrolling persons and objects, though not always successfully. Scholars with international experience tend to be research oriented, and they mention the working conditions abroad as particularly attractive. We show the extent to which these findings challenge some views of centers and periphery and highlight the active role of scholars in peripheral scientific fields.

Keywords

Sociology of intellectuals International circulation of knowledge Positioning theory Argentine political science Academic career 

References

  1. Alatas, S. F. (2001). The study of the social sciences in developing societies: towards an adequate conceptualization of relevance. Current Sociology, 49(2), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albornoz, M. (2007). Argentina: Modernidad y Ruptura, in Sebastián J (ed) Claves del Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico de América Latina. Madrid: Fundación Carolina and Siglo XXI, 185–224.Google Scholar
  3. Altbach, P. (2007a). Academic challenges: the American professoriate in comparative perspective. In A. Welch (Ed.), The professoriate. Profile of a profession (pp. 147–166). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Altbach, P. (2007b). Empires of knowledge and development. In P. Altbach & J. Balán (Eds.), World class worldwide: transforming research universities in Asia and Latin America (pp. 1–30). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Altbach, P., & Balán, J. (Eds.). (2007). World class worldwide: transforming research universities in Asia and Latin America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, W., & Adams, V. (2008). Pramoedya's chicken: postcolonial studies of technoscience. In E. Hackett, O. Amsterdamska, M. Lynch, & J. Wajcman (Eds.), The new handbook of science and technology studies (3rd ed., pp. 181–204). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Angel-Urdinola, D., Takeno, T., & Wodon, Q. (2008). Student migration to the United States and brain circulation: issues, empirical results, and programmes in Latin America. In A. Solimano (Ed.), The international mobility of talent: types, causes, and development impact (pp. 168–201). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baert, P. (2012). Positioning theory and intellectual interventions. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 42(3), 304–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berman, L. (1999). Positioning in the formation of a “national” identity. In R. Harré & L. Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts in international action (pp. 138–159). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Bertaux, D. (1981). From the life-history approach to the transformation of sociological practice. In D. Bertaux (Ed.), Biography and society: the life history approach in the social sciences (pp. 29–45). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Bijker, W. E. (2001). Understanding technological culture through a constructivist view of science, technology, and society. In S. Cutcliffe & C. Mitcham (Eds.), Visions of STS: counterpoints in science, technology and society studies (pp. 19–34). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bijker, W. E. (1995). Of bicycles, bakelites and bulbs: toward a theory of sociotechnical change. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bourdieu, P. (2004). Science of Science and Reflexivity. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  14. Brink, P., & Wood, M. (Eds.). (1998). Advanced design in nursing research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Burawoy, M. (2008). Rejoinder: for a subaltern global sociology. Current Sociology, 56(3), 435–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Campbell, R. A. (2003). Preparing the next generation of scientists: the social process of managing students. Social Studies of Science, 33, 897–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Canagarajah, A. S. (2002). A geopolitics of academic writing. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  18. Collins, H. M., & Yearly, S. (1992). Epistemological chicken. In A. Pickering (Ed.), Science as practice and culture (pp. 301–326). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  19. Crane, D. (1972). Invisible colleges. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  20. David, B., & Harré, R. (1999). Positioning and personhood. In R. Harré & L. Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts of international actions (pp. 32–52). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. David, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: the discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20, 43–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Delanty, G. (2001a). Challenging knowledge: the university in the knowledge society. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Delanty, G. (2001b). The university in the knowledge society. Organization, 8(2), 149–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Delbourgo, J., & Dew, N. (Eds.). (2008). Science and empire in the Atlantic world. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Ferraroti, F. (2003). On the science of uncertainty: the biographical method in social research. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  26. Forero, P. C. (2002). Partnership on the new world science stage. Paper presented at the International Seminar on North-South and South-South Research Partnership, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Available at http://www.kfpe.ch/download/columbia/Clemente_Forero_e.pdf. Accessed 25 June 2013.
  27. Fox, M. F., & Stephan, P. E. (2001). Career of young scientists: preferences, prospects, and realities by gender and field. Social Studies of Science, 31(1), 109–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Harré, R., & Langenhove, L. (1999a). The dynamics of social episodes. In R. Harré & L. Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts in international action (pp. 1–13). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  29. Harré, R., & Langenhove, L. (1999b). Reflexive positioning: autobiography. In R. Harré & L. Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts in international action (pp. 53–59). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  30. Harré, R., Moghaddam, F. M., Pilkerton Cairnie, T., Rothbart, D., & Sabat, S. R. (2009). Recent advances in positioning theory. Theory and Psychology, 19(1), 5–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hermanowicz, J. C. (2009). Lives in science: how institutions affect academic careers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hermanowicz, J. C. (2007). Argument and outline for the sociology of scientific (and other) careers. Social Studies of Science, 37, 625–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ihde, D. (2003). Bodies in technology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  34. Jöns, H. (2007). Transnational mobility and the spaces of knowledge production: a comparison of global patterns, motivations and collaborations in different academic fields. Social Geography, 2, 97–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kemple, T. M., & Mawani, R. (2010). The sociological imagination and its imperial shadows. Theory Culture & Society, 26(7–8), 228–249.Google Scholar
  36. Lamont, M. (2009). How professors think: inside the curious world of academic judgment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Langenhove, L., & Harré, R. (1999a). Positioning and the writing of science. In R. Harré & L. Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts in international action (pp. 102–115). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  38. Langenhove, L., & Harré, R. (1999b). Positioning as the production and use of stereotypes. In R. Harré & L. Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts in international action (pp. 127–137). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  39. Latour, B. (1988). The pasteurization of France. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Latour, B. (1987). Science in action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1986). Laboratory life: the construction of scientific facts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Livingstone, D. N. (2007). Science, site, and speech: scientific knowledge and the spaces of rhetoric. History of the Human Sciences, 20(2), 71–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Livingstone, D. N. (2005). Text, talk, and testimony: geographical reflections on scientific habits. The British Journal for the History of Science, 38, 93–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Livingstone, D. N. (2003). Putting science in its place geographies of scientific knowledge. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. (1995). Designing qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  46. Meadows, A. J. (1997). Communication research. London: Academic.Google Scholar
  47. Mignolo, W. (2002). The geopolitics of knowledge and the colonial difference. South Atlantic Quarterly, 101(1), 57–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mignolo, W. (2000). Local histories/global designs: coloniality, subaltern knowledges, and border thinking. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Ortiz, R. (2004). As Ciências Sociais e o Inglês. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais, 19(54), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Osbeck, L., & Nersessian, N. (2010). Forms of positioning in interdisciplinary science practice and their epistemic effects. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 40(2), 136–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Patton, M. Q. (2001). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  52. Porter, T. M. (2008). Schrödinger's goose. American Scientist, 96(6), 500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Porter, T. M. (2006). Is the life of the scientist a scientific unit. Isis, 97, 314–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Robertson, B. (2002). Biographical research. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Rodriguez, M. L. (2010). Centers and Peripheries in Political Science: the Case of Argentina. PhD Dissertation, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  56. Rodriguez Medina, L. (2008). Relaciones precapitalistas en las prácticas científicas en Argentina. Nómadas, 29, 64–78.Google Scholar
  57. Schiff, M. (2006). Brain gain: claims about its size and impact on welfare and growth are greatly exaggerated. In C. Ozden & M. Schiff (Eds.), International migration, remittances & the brain drain (pp. 201–226). New York: World Bank and Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  58. Schott, T. (1998). Ties between center and periphery in the scientific world-system: accumulation of rewards, dominance and self-reliance in the center. Journal of World-Systems Research, 4, 112–144.Google Scholar
  59. Schott, T. (1993a). World science: globalization of institutions and participation. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 18(2), 196–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schott, T. (1993b) Performance, Specialization and International Integration of Science in Brazil: Changes and Comparisons with Other Latin America and Israel. Sao Paulo: Escola de Administração de Empresas, Fundação Getúlio Vargas and World Bank.Google Scholar
  61. Schott, T., Kugel, S., Berrios, R., & Rodriguez, K. (1998). Peripheries in world science: Latin America and Eastern Europe. In M. Epitropoulos & V. Roudometof (Eds.), American culture in Europe: interdisciplinary perspectives. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  62. Schroeder, R. (2008). e-Sciences as research technologies: reconfiguring disciplines, globalizing knowledge. Social Science Information, 47(2), 131–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shapin, S. (2009). The scientific life: a moral history of a late modern vocation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  64. Shapin, S., & Schaffer, S. (1985). Leviathan and the air-pump. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Shetty, S. (2007). The job market: an overview. In A. L. Deneef & C. D. Goodwin (Eds.), The academic handbook (pp. 136–143). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Shils, E. (1988). Center and periphery: an idea and its career, 1935-1987. In L. Greenfeld & M. Martin (Eds.), Center: ideas and institutions (pp. 250–282). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  67. Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional ecology, “translations” and boundary objects: amateurs and professionals in Berkeley's museum of vertebrate zoology, 1907-1939. Social Studies of Science, 19, 387–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Taylor, S. J., & Bogdan, R. (1998). Introduction to qualitative research methods: a guidebook and resource. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  69. Thompson, P. (1981). Life histories and the analysis of social change. In D. Bertaux (Ed.), Biography and society: the life history approach in the social sciences (pp. 289–306). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  70. Uprichard, E., Burrows, R., & Byrne, D. (2008). SPSS as an “inscription device”: from causality to description. The Sociological Review, 56(4), 606–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Van Langenhove, L., & Harré, R. (1999a). Introducing positioning theory. In R. Harré & L. Van Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: moral contexts of international action (pp. 14–31). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  72. Wagner, C. (2008). The new invisible college: science for development. Washington DC: Brooking Institution Press.Google Scholar
  73. Wagner, C. (2006). International collaboration in science and technology: promises and pitfalls. In L. Box & R. Engelhard (Eds.), Science and technology policy for development: dialogues at the interface (pp. 165–176). London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
  74. Wallerstein, I. (1996). Conocer el Mundo Saber el Mundo. El Fin de lo Aprendido. Una Ciencia Social para el Siglo XXI. México: Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  75. Welch, A. (Ed.). (2007). The professoriate: profile of a profession. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  76. Whitley, R. (2006). The intellectual and social organization of the sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Wilbur, H. M. (2007). On getting a job. In A. L. Deneef & C. D. Goodwin (Eds.), The academic's handbook (pp. 123–135). Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  78. Wildavsky, B. (2010). The great brain race: how global universities are shaping the world. Princeton University Press: Princeton.Google Scholar
  79. Ziman, J. (2000). Real science: what is and what it means. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Relations and Political ScienceUniversidad de las Americas PueblaPueblaMexico
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations