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/edu/ - Education

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What is the primary contradiction inside Academia? Is it between the Sciences and Humanities or something else?


>What is the primary contradiction inside Academia?


same as rest of the society from what I hear, profitability versus productivity.


Yeah but judging from that alone, you can't differentiate the various Disciplines


The contradiction in academia is disagreement on how best to reproduce the bourgeois and labor aristocracy


>same as rest of the society from what I hear, profitability versus productivity.
ding ding ding, although this takes on particular forms in academe

Since the middle ages academe has always been defined in large part by an attempt by intellectuals to wrest themselves independent of the control of territorial and economic powers and their demands so that they can think. You can condemn this as a bunch of elite nerds trying to evade social responsibility so they can jerk off, or celebrate it as the human spirit trying to comprehend higher things and achieve species-being against the petty squabbles of local elites, but either way it's been a pretty consistent feature of how academia has developed, and in particular struggles over what institutional forms and so on are adopted. (Actually you can see this struggle extending back even further into monastic organization, at least in the West and I would very strongly wager in Sufi lodges and Buddhist monasteries as well though I'm less familiar with those.)

Over the past several decades the autonomy of the universities has been very thoroughly eroded:

1) The usual funding mechanisms - an exponentially increasing number of paying undergrads, with little overhead - has disappeared.
2) Outside political forces want the university to justify itself in outside terms - contributions to innovation in the economy, and so on. Partnerships with various actors for funding has resulted in the usual alternative to the autonomous university/monastery to seep in - private patronage.
3) Internal "productivity" metrics have gotten more and more standardized for research academics (# papers published and citations gotten, in journals whose impact rating has been similarly quantified) and teaching (with teachers, just like other service workers, getting rated by students-cum-customers). You're seeing some pretty blatant attacks on the spirit of tenure done under the heading of wokeness (a heading which in most cases I suspect mostly masks attacks on academics who find themselves unpopular for far more petty reasons), but either way economic forces are eroding tenure anyway.

My idle hope is that people who want to think will be able to build new institutions that can withstand this (a tension that will be easier, but still a struggle, to realize under socialism) but if you look at the internet, 1) censorship cynically justified as merely an attack on a few nazis, and far more importantly 2) quantified success metrics are notably growing stronger there as well.

(I like posting here because it's one of the few places I can escape those without being surrounded by actual nazis, aside from just sitting in my room and thinking, which is of course important but you gotta think collectively or it all dies in your skull with you.)

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