Journalism, representation and the public sphere

Title chapter:Recognizing difference in academia. The sqridge as a metaphor for agonistic interchange
Author:Nico Carpentier
Keywords: Conflict; antagonism; academia; homogeneity; agonism; dialogue; bridge; square; sqridge
Abstract:In this chapter I will be reflecting on conflicts in academia, an issue which has, all too often, been swept under the carpet of academic corporatism. I will begin these reflections by considering the different types of conflict that exist within academia. These include political and paradigmatic conflict, struggles between critical and administrative research, as well as linguistic, cultural, organisational, personal, resource-driven and competition-driven conflicts. In the next part of the chapter, I will discuss two trajectories for overcoming these antagonistic conflicts. One of these strategies, based on the fantasy of homogeneity, is considered to have insufficient strength to overcome antagonistic academic conflict, indeed it will often tend to enhance it. The second strategy, an agonistic approach to academia, is more promising in that it acknowledges that there are different pathways for theorising and researching social phenomena, especially through the use of emphatic and self-reflexive openness to facilitate dialogues between conflicting positions. In the conclusion, two metaphors - the 'bridge' and the 'square' - are integrated into the amphibious term: the sqridge, referring to a discursive tool that signifies agonistic academic spaces.
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