The chapter explores, using a sociological perspective, connections between debates about university purposes, changing academic cultures and a high incidence of poor doctoral researcher mental health. Drawing upon Locatelli’s work about education for the public good and Burawoy’s work on public sociology (Burawoy, American Sociological Review 4–28, 2005; Locatelli, Education As a Public and Common Good: Revisiting the Role of the State in a Context of Growing Marketization, Bergamo University, 2017), the chapter looks at how contemporary universities’ conditions and academic work can affect doctoral researchers’ wellbeing. Some suggestions are made about activities to encourage doctoral researchers to interact more closely with civil society and help the public engage with aspects of academic knowledge which can benefit the public good.
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I thank the participants at the A3ES Douro Seminar in October 2018 for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of the chapter. I also presented a revised version of the chapter at a seminar for the New Social Research Unit, Doctoral School academics, doctoral researchers and other visitors at the University of Tampere, Finland, on 29 January 2019 and the ensuing discussion was invaluable in revising the paper. Particular thanks to Jaako Kauko who after that seminar suggested to me that I make use of Burawoy’s work on public sociology. A further version of the paper was presented at a workshop on academic work in Jyväskyla, Finland, in May 2019, where participant comments were again extremely helpful.
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Deem, R. (2020). Rethinking Doctoral Education: University Purposes, Academic Cultures, Mental Health and the Public Good. In: Cardoso, S., Tavares, O., Sin, C., Carvalho, T. (eds) Structural and Institutional Transformations in Doctoral Education. Issues in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38046-5_2
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