Tribes and Territories in the 21st Century : Rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education book cover
1st Edition

Tribes and Territories in the 21st Century
Rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education

ISBN 9780415880626
Published January 11, 2012 by Routledge
312 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $210.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The ‘tribes and territories’ metaphor for the cultures of academic disciplines and their roots in different knowledge characteristics has been used by those interested in university life and work since the early 1990s. This book draws together research, data and theory to show how higher education has gone through major change since then and how social theory has evolved in parallel. Together these changes mean there is a need to re-theorise academic life in a way which reflects changed contexts in universities in the twenty-first century, and so a need for new metaphors.

Using a social practice approach, the editors and contributors argue that disciplines are alive and well, but that in a turbulent environment where many other forces conditioning academic practices exist, their influence is generally weaker than before. However, the social practice approach adopted in the book highlights how this influence is contextually contingent – how disciplines are deployed in different ways for different purposes and with varying degrees of purchase.

This important book pulls together the latest thinking on the subject and offers a new framework for conceptualising the influences on academic practices in universities. It brings together a distinguished group of scholars from across the world to address questions such as:

  • Have disciplines been displaced by inter-disciplinarity, having outlived their usefulness?
  • Have other forces acting on the academy pushed disciplines into the background as factors shaping the practices of academics and students there?
  • How significant are disciplinary differences in teaching and research practices?
  • What is their significance in other areas of work in universities?

This timely book addresses a pressing concern in modern education, and will be of great interest to university professionals, managers and policy-makers in the field of higher education.

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Introduction   Introduction   Section 1: Theorising (Inter-)Disciplinarity and Social Practices   1. Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity: Conceptual groundwork Paul Trowler   2. Disciplines and Academic Practices Paul Trowler Section 2: Disciplinary Differences and Research Practices   3. Disciplines and Research: key themes Paul Trowler   4. Beyond tribes and territories: new metaphors for new times Catherine Manathunga and Angela Brew   5. Law, Research and the Academy Fiona Cownie   6. Doing Research: The Case of Art and Design Paul Trowler   7. Research Strategies: ‘capital’ and the goods of social science research Nicola Spurling   8. Theorising Disciplines and Research Practices Paul Trowler   Section 3: Disciplinary differences and learning and teaching practices   9. Learning and Teaching in the Disciplines: Challenging Knowledge, Ubiquitous Change Veronica Bamber   10. The Evolving Landscape of Nursing Science in the 21st Century – the Finnish Case Anne Laiho   11. The Pedagogic Device: Sociology, Knowledge Practices and Teaching-Learning Processes Paul Ashwin, Andrea Abbas and Monica McLean   12. Scene Changes and Key Changes: Disciplines and Identities in HE Dance, Drama and Music Paul Kleiman   13. ‘We’re engaged’: Mechanical Engineering and the Community Christine Winberg   14. Learning and Teaching, Disciplines and Social Practice Theory Veronica Bamber Section 4: Catalysts for changing disciplinary practices   15. Imperatives for academic practices: catalysts for sustained change Murray Saunders   16. Crossing tribal boundaries: Interdisciplinarity as a threshold concept Ray Land   17. Change vectors and academic identities: Evolving tribes and territories Kerri-Lee Krause   18. Internationalisation: troublesome knowledge for the disciplines Valerie A. Clifford   19. Teaching in an age of ‘supercomplexity’: lecturer conceptions in context Susan J Lea and Lynne Callaghan   20. Technology and change in academic practice Martin Oliver   21. Transformations from without and within the disciplines: the emerging practice landscape Murray Saunders Conclusion: Academic practices and the disciplines in the 21st century Paul Trowler, Murray Saunders, Veronica Bamber

View More



Paul Trowler is Professor of Higher Education and Director of Research at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK.

Murray Saunders is Director of Evaluation at the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK.

Veronica Bamber is Director of the Centre for Academic Practice at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.