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Reasoning Higher Education Change

Structure, Agency and Culture

Keiko Yokoyama

The purpose of this book is to explain higher education change and resistance to change. The book explores Giddens’ structuration theory and Archer’s critical realism by clarifying cultural conditioning and integrating structural, agency and cultural conditionings within the context of higher education change and continuity. The book argues that we can explain higher education change by shifts in one or more conditions in structure, agency and culture, which enable higher education to transform into another form. It proposes two models for illustrating the relationships between the three conditionings that bring about higher education change. It supports the concepts of duality and reflexivity, denying analytical dualism.

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Preface

Extract

The book treats the theme of higher education change and stability in a theoreti- cal and heuristic manner. It is investigatory and open-ended because of the na- ture of the topic and the level of abstraction. It is the result of my endeavor to bring together structural, agency, and cultural approaches for higher education change and stability, and to link normative and contextual accounts. The theme of the book—the articulation of a theoretical delineation for higher education change and resistance to change—is ambitious and challeng- ing. The provision of laws of higher education change and stability is beyond the present state of knowledge, as Giddens (1984) and Parsons (1951, 1960) point out in the context of social change. This, however, does not hamper all theoreti- cal endeavors. We can still offer paradigms, patterns, and theoretical interpreta- tions for change and stability, which the book aims to offer in the context of higher education. The book seeks to bridge the gap between the 1980s theoreti- cal endeavor by social scientists and contemporary knowledge in the early 2010s. I hope that I can contribute to higher education study in someway and provide insights for general sociological theory on social change. In the back- ground of course lie the enormous influence of great scholars, notably Burton Clark from the field of higher education and Anthony Giddens and Margaret Archer from sociology. The book is the outcome of the study which I developed during my stay as a visiting scholar at the...

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