9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Professional Knowledge in Organizations Building I, Auditório 1

The different ways of academic professionalization

Academics?professionalization has been one of the most important topics in international education policy. In spite of the significant differences between national contexts, ministers and secretaries have recognized that academics are a vital part not only in education system, but in the development and maintenance of professional groups.
This paper presents the result of a research carried out in 2008 on the academic profession in France. While in this country, the category of "academics" does not exist, but rather they are considered bureaucrats of the system, the investigation was able to identify some policies and strategies that have been developed in order to support and strengthen the future generations of professors and researchers.
Here, we should note that France, like other European Union countries, is involved in a wider restructuring process called the European Space for Higher Education (ESHE), whose main goal is that Europe will become the world leader in knowledge generation in 2010.
The main results of the research can be summarized as follows:
a) The process of academics renewal in France is going through a crisis. This is mainly because the low external and internal mobility in university labor market,
b) The main source of market demand is the doctors and postdoctoral researchers, who are being educated in the universities themselves,
c) There are significant differences between the opportunities for growth and strengthening of academic work, depending on the field of knowledge,
d) The French system has developed various strategies to professionalize professors and researchers and to control access to labor market, such as: the monitors, the so called ?ATER?, and the CIFRE conventions. These measures have been successful in regard to the redistribution of jobs; however, they have also brought a series of unexpected consequences that have caused conflicts and a greater complexity in the academic market.