Professional and Professionalism

Robopathology 2008? Yablonsky is turning in his grave,


By Ian McNay

My views on ‘professional’ and ‘professionalism’ in HE have been tested in several ways recently. One of my doctoral students has just got his award for a study on the topic. A major part of his work was a case study in a modern university, with a survey of teaching professionals with fellowship status in HEA either by a PGCE or a reflective portfolio of experience route. The survey group presented a homogeneous monochrome picture of what Hoyle, many years ago, labelled ‘restricted’ professionals – classroom bound with little engagement in the wider professional context, focused on subject and students, with punctuality and smart dress as professional characteristics. That reflected the response I got from some academics when I was appointed as a head of school: I met each one of my staff and, as part of the conversation, asked their view on development issues and future…

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New report on drug law reform: an evidenced based approach

aussie news

The ISTJ Blog

Breaking news in drug law reform:  The Parliament of Victoria, Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee has released the Inquiry into Drug Law Reform Report.

After significant community consultation and expert advice, the report’s findings and recommendations propose that future reform be evidenced based and multidisciplinary.  Concepts that are at the heart of therapeutic jurisprudence…

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Call for Papers: Journal of Working-Class Studies June 2017 Issue

cfp working class studies isue

Working-Class Studies Association

Special Issue, June 2017:  Popular Revolt and the Global Working Class

Epitomised by Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and Australia’s hard line on asylum seekers, we are living in a time of global revolt against establishment systems of governance. Working-class, poor, and other disenfranchised people are appearing as both agents and casualties of change.

What can help explain this moment? Economic precarity, nationalism, protectionist sentiments, xenophobia, anti-elitist resentment, or a combination of these elements? Who truly suffers, and who benefits, from times when, as Michael Moore suggested, the masses throw a ‘human Molotov cocktail’ like Trump at politics-as-usual, or use the Brexit referendum as a way to send a message? And how is class uniquely shaping this moment of popular revolt, reaction, and — on a more hopeful note —potential ‘consciousness raising’ around the intersection of class with issues like immigration, refugee sanctuary, health care, environmental degradation…

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Academe’s Bad Behavior

Now thats thinking!

The Activist History Review

by Ryan McIlhenny

The number of white supremacist incidents, including racially-motivated hate crimes on colleges campuses across the country, have increased over the last few months. Many of the leaders of such hate-saturated gatherings, as in the case of white nationalist and UVA alum Richard Spencer, have had a strategic interest in spreading their message via academia, seeking perhaps to legitimize this extreme form of nationalism and remove it from the anti-intellectual fringe where it’s often assumed to reside. Such gatherings haveendedinviolence to one degree or another. An education, to borrow from Martha Nussbaum, “is no guarantee of good behavior, but ignorance is a virtual guarantee of bad behavior.”[1] Ignorance is either a matter of not knowing, which may include either not wanting to know, as in the case of an individual’s willful suppression of truth options, or being deprived of the opportunity to know, as…

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How to clamp down on worker dissent


Minding the Workplace

If you’re a senior executive or manager and want to make sure that your workers don’t get too uppity, you might achieve your goal by being a tyrant and by encouraging your lieutenants to be the same way. Surely management-by-intimidation works, right?

Well, maybe, for a short while. At the same time, it surely will give rise to claims that you’re a jerk and maybe even a bully. And given a chance, your employees will leave for (hopefully) greener pastures.

A “better” approach

Fortunately, there’s another, more effective way to clamp down on worker dissent and possibly not have to answer for it. The trick is to do it with a smile, albeit an insincere one, and then take some action steps such as these:

  • Create a workplace culture that values superficial politeness over honest work relationships. Make sure that superficial atmosphere — what psychologists Linda Hartling and Elizabeth Sparks call a “pseudo-relational” organizational…

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Goal-setting with a group: The Monthly Weeklies

hmmmm weeklyworks

The Research Whisperer

Jonathan Williams is co-editor of Queer Out Here, writer of blog posts at In Which I, walker of long distances and organiser of things.

In his day job, he wrangles a school database. He completed his PhD on trans cinema at the University of Melbourne in 2011 and has avoided academia ever since.

Jonathan currently lives in East Sussex, UK. You can find him on Twitter: @jonathanworking.

What are you working on? What do you want to achieve by the end of the month? And what do you need to do this week to reach those goals?

Many people are familiar with this approach to time and project management.

But sorting out what you need to do is one thing, while actually following through is quite another!

Photo by Cliff Johnson | unsplash.comPhoto by Cliff Johnson |

This can be especially difficult if you operate in a more solitary environment, as…

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Neoliberalism, the Public Intellectual, and the Decline of History

Public Intellectuals

The Activist History Review

by Eric Medlin


Fifty years ago, American academic historians reached the public and influenced politics to an extent unimaginable by today’s standards. Since then, supporters of neoliberalism have squeezed the budgets of humanities departments, and university-based historians have further withdrawn into the academy. Modern scholars who want their work to reach audiences beyond their students and colleagues may find role models in the history of their own discipline.

Neoliberalism, a political ideology based on globalization and free trade that has dominated global political economy for the past forty years, has undercut many American economic sectors that rely on domestic government spending, including education. Legislators who target public universities for budget cuts also expect them to generate economic growth. As a result, departments have cut degree programs in women’s studies and rural sociology at a rapid pace. Former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory summarized this viewpoint in a 2013 radio…

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Frankenstein, Black Mirror, and personal data

Data dangers

This Sociological Life


This year marks the 200-year anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. This novel has become a cultural icon, largely due to the figure of the creature, the strange monster cobbled together from stolen body parts and reanimated by the scientist Dr Victor Frankenstein. Dr Frankenstein is obsessed with creating life from non-living matter. He eventually creates a humanoid creature which resembles a human in many aspects, although it is much larger and has an unearthly appearance that marks it as clearly not-human. Frankenstein is repulsed by the creature, which escapes his laboratory. The creature, for its part, finds its own appearance hideous, and experiences rejection from the people it encounters because it looks so strange and frightening. Eventually the creature turns murderous, wanting to wreak vengeance on its creator for its lonely and disturbed existence.

The story of Frankenstein’s creature…

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Interview Guide Development: A 4-Stage “Funnel” Approach

i love research

Research Design Review

In-depth interviewers and focus group moderators typically work from an outline of relevant topics and questions that guides them through the interview or discussion. The funnel-new-copyright-markguide is intended to be just that, a guide, and not a strict, prescriptive document. With the guide, the ultimate goal is to enable the interviewer or moderator to efficiently incorporate all of the issues that are important to achieving the research objectives. Maintaining clarity throughout the interview or discussion on the related issues is actually a more essential purpose of the guide than the actual questions or follow-up probes it may contain.

The most typical and effective approach in constructing an interview or discussion guide is to begin broadly and progressively narrow the topic area to the subject matter of greatest importance to the research objectives, i.e., a “funnel” approach. The funnel consists of four basic stages.

Stage 1: Introductions
The interviewer or moderator…

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writing the thesis – the theoretical framework

for my doctoral stduents


9337917895_b8e0b4705f_b.jpgPlease note that I write my blog on weekends. It is not part of my workload or job description. I support the #USSstrike and “teach out” online. 

Not every thesis has a section or chapter devoted to a theoretical framework. But a lot do. (It’s the Ph in PhD after all.) And these ‘theory chapters’ can be very tricky to write – and are often tricky for the examiner to read.

Before starting to write your theory section/chapter it can be good to think about what the examiner wants to see.

The examiners have likely been appointed because they know, and possibly use, the same theoretical framing as you. And this means that you have to assume that they don’t need a basic introduction or a run-through of every possible thing there is to say about the theory. The examiner doesn’t want a general essay, the kind of here’s-the-lot that…

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