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Scientific capital and engagement in African Universities: the case of the social science at Makerere University

Langa, Pactricio V

Abstract:
The study aims to demonstrate that Bourdieu’s concepts of scientific capital and field can be useful as a proxy to position different universities and disciplines in a hierarchical space of distribution of capital. However, the principles of accumulation of scientific capital and the particular tokens at stake in a particular disciplinary field will vary from institution to institution. In other words, what drives academics from, for example, Makerere University in Uganda to publish in particular journals, and in collaboration or not with their peers, is more a function of the local dynamics of the institutional field and not only due to the amount of scientific capital they possess. This is borne out by a study undertaken by the Centre for Higher Education Transformation on Universities and Economic Development in Africa finding that academics with high academic capital and manageable teaching loads are not producing knowledge through doctoral graduates or academic publications (Cloete et al. 2011). Similarly, levels of engagement seem to be determined by contextual factors, such as the institutional context and symbolic capital at the institutional level rather than the scientific capital of academics. The study was conducted in three African universities, Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). This paper, however, only reports on the results of Makerere University.

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Document Title: Scientific capital and engagement in African Universities: the case of the social science at Makerere University
City and Country: Cape Town, South Africa


Date:2011
Document Type:Paper (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Contributory Studies and Research Approaches
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Science, Social Sciences, Social Research, Makerere University, Uganda


File Size:363 KB
Rights:CHET
Date Added:09 May 2012


Langa, Pactricio V ( 2011) Scientific capital and engagement in African Universities: the case of the social science at Makerere University. HERENA, Center for Higher Education Transformation (CHET), Cape Town, South Africa