EASST location:Trento, Italy date:2-4 September 2010
This paper takes general developments of European universities (virtualization, network-formation, entrepreneurship) as point of departure and is more particularly interested in the role and position of the academic in those changing universities: what does ‘being an academic’ mean today? The goal of the paper is to present a particular heuristic methodological design that allows to investigate to what extent and how these changes are noticeable in the concrete daily lives of academics. Drawing on actor-network theory (ANT) as an approach that takes into account social as well as technical and material aspects of academic realities, the design proposed will be operationalized by adopting pluralism as general methodological guideline and multidimensional pictures of individual academic practices as general outcome. In other words, the present project will try to develop a methodological design in form of different observation lenses that allow to give a qualitative-interpretative answer to the following question: How do the daily practices of academics actually articulate processes towards and take shape in relation to the virtual, entrepreneurial, network university?