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Puaca, Goran
Publications (10 of 22) Show all publications
Puaca, G. (2018). Academic Professions: Paradoxes of Resistance and Compliance with a Growing Loss of Autonomy. In: ECER 2018, "Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?”, Bolzano, Italy, 4-7 September, 2018: . Paper presented at ECER 2018, "Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?”, Bolzano, Italy, 4-7 September, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Academic Professions: Paradoxes of Resistance and Compliance with a Growing Loss of Autonomy
2018 (English)In: ECER 2018, "Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?”, Bolzano, Italy, 4-7 September, 2018, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Keywords
Professions, Academic autonomy, Habitus, New Public Management, Vocational higher education
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-15126 (URN)
Conference
ECER 2018, "Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?”, Bolzano, Italy, 4-7 September, 2018
Available from: 2018-09-26 Created: 2018-09-26 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G. & Carlén, M. (2018). Hela Väster: Utvärdering av ett skolutvecklingsprojekt i Borås stad. Borås: Stema
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hela Väster: Utvärdering av ett skolutvecklingsprojekt i Borås stad
2018 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Borås: Stema, 2018. p. 46
Series
Rapport från FoU Sjuhärad Välfärd ; 37
Series
Rapport nr 37, 2018
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-15127 (URN)978-91-85025-33-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-09-26 Created: 2018-09-26 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G., Theandersson, C. & Carlén, M. (2017). Resisting consumerist rationalities in higher vocational education. The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 15(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resisting consumerist rationalities in higher vocational education
2017 (English)In: The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, ISSN 2051-0969, E-ISSN 1740-2743, Vol. 15, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Swedish higher education policy is currently moving toward consumption ideals that focus on promoting the efficiency and economic viability of student choices. This paper scrutinizes students’ practical considerations when making decisions regarding their education and future occupations and the choice rationalities and motives that these reflect. This issue is empirically investigated via a semi-structured questionnaire (n = 322) distributed to students from seven vocational Swedish human resource management (HRM) university programs. Vocational university programs like HRM are a significant growth sector in higher education. What is unclear, however, is whether these forms of education reinforce a desired policy ambition toward consumerist subjectivity among choice agents. The results of the study do not exclusively or even primarily express consumerist subjectivity. By vitalizing Pierre Bourdieu’s term “reasonable”, an organic form of reasoning becomes apparent that does not separate intrinsic dimensions of learning, knowledge, or personal and social concerns from merit and economic compensation. Moreover, the results indicate that security and interpersonal distinctions relating to professional alignment are situated in the forefront of the expressed motives for these educational choices.

Keywords
Higher vocational education, consumer, choice agents, neoliberal policy, Pierre Bourdieu
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-11894 (URN)000404658900010 ()2-s2.0-85016281094 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-02-10 Created: 2017-02-10 Last updated: 2018-12-07Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G. & Carlén, M. (2017). Vem bestämmer spelplanen?: Striden om högre Utbildning. In: Marcus Agnafors (Ed.), Universitet AB: Om kommodifiering, marknad och akademi (pp. 117-137). Göteborg: Daidalos
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vem bestämmer spelplanen?: Striden om högre Utbildning
2017 (Swedish)In: Universitet AB: Om kommodifiering, marknad och akademi / [ed] Marcus Agnafors, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2017, p. 117-137Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Daidalos, 2017
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-12934 (URN)978-91-7173-523-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-10-26 Created: 2017-10-26 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G. (2017). Vocational higher education in the age of neoliberal conversion. In: The European Sociological Association conference 29/8-1/9 2017, Athens, Greece: . Paper presented at 13th Conference of the European Sociological Association, Athens, Greece, August 29 - September 1, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vocational higher education in the age of neoliberal conversion
2017 (English)In: The European Sociological Association conference 29/8-1/9 2017, Athens, Greece, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

What is indicative of current developments in higher education institutions (HEI) is how the terms of knowledge that make up neoliberal rationalities and entrepreneurial practices are gaining influence at the expense of academic traditions. The logic behind these HEIs’ practices can be seen as the ambition to offer ’products’ in an educational ‘market’. Higher vocational education are especially exposed to these changes, in terms of how the selection and organisation of knowledge is closely related to local conditions of assigned relevance and the practical orientation of learning. In Basil Bernstein’s terms, ‘a horizontal knowledge orientation’ is prevailing. This on-going research project investigates current trends in Swedish HEIs. After the 2011 implementation of institutional autonomy reform in Sweden, HEIs have increasingly transformed into new public management-inspired organisations, where adjustments for employability and economic benefits have gained significance at the expense of academic and pedagogic values. The Swedish higher education sector as a whole, however, is characterised by diversity. The current project aims to examine which governing mechanisms and forms of autonomy are apparent in three cases of higher vocational education. The project design aims to uncover analytical distinctions of different actors' perceptions and objectives within the institutional conditions that form the meaning and objectives of education through interviews with academic professionals and decision makers in HEI. The initial results expose the intrinsic relationships among forms of collegiality, professional autonomy and management ideals in how frictions between academic integrity and adaptability to entrepreneurial practices are handled.

Keywords
Higher vocational education, neoliberalism, academic autonomy, professions
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-12933 (URN)
Conference
13th Conference of the European Sociological Association, Athens, Greece, August 29 - September 1, 2017
Available from: 2017-10-26 Created: 2017-10-26 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
Beach, D. & Puaca, G. (2014). Changing higher education by converging policy-packages: Education choices and student identities. European Journal of Higher Education, 4(1), 67-79
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing higher education by converging policy-packages: Education choices and student identities
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Higher Education, ISSN 2156-8235, E-ISSN 2156-8243, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 67-79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract: The past two decades of higher education research in Europe describe new-managerial and neo-liberal turns in governance policies that have brought shifts in the way institutions of higher education are defined and run, justify their existence and practices, and recruit and educate students. The expansion of higher education is often lifted as a key feature and motivation of these changes and it is also used in arguments for the need to change further. The European Union Lisbon Agreement is often referenced when changes are discussed and motivated by change agents. It describes needs of effectiveness and new kinds of programmes and courses to deal with increased volume and widening participation. New demands are described as having been placed on teachers, students and leadership, including an expanded role for student choices of and in higher education. Based on ethnographic research key aspects of extended choice are examined in the present article. Keywords: cultural capital, choice rationalities, skilled/semi-skilled choices, generification

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014
Keywords
cultural capital, choice rationalitie, skilled/semi-skilled, generification
National Category
Pedagogy Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-1850 (URN)10.1080/21568235.2013.862155 (DOI)2320/13629 (Local ID)2320/13629 (Archive number)2320/13629 (OAI)
Note

Special Issue: Ethnographies of Higher Education

Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2017-11-23Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G. (2014). Imperatives for 'Right' Educational Choices in Swedish Educational Policy. The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 12(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Imperatives for 'Right' Educational Choices in Swedish Educational Policy
2014 (English)In: The Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, ISSN 2051-0969, E-ISSN 1740-2743, Vol. 12, no 1Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract The present article is based on a critical semiotic investigation of the Swedish Long-Term Survey on economic development. It aims to examine how recent Swedish policy trends bring specific economic, political and social processes together to form a system of meaning for both motivation and regulation over individuals’ educational choices. What is specifically investigated is how the survey directs attention to shaping actors’ wants and decisions in relation to economically productive educational choices through information about education and employment and how education reorganization can redirect economic liabilities from the public to the individual. The particular consequences for educational choices are discussed from the concepts of righteousness, reasonableness and necessity as semantic distinctions that are used to illustrate causal claims on a policy level. The article indicates that these policies rest on apparently categorical ontological and epistemological assumptions on how to direct choices. This appears to be a complexity reduction with the attempt to imply the pre-eminence of economic meaning and motivation for people’s decisions in education and social participation. Keywords: Critical semiotics, educational choice, educational policy, communicative rationality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute for Education Policy Studies, 2014
Keywords
Sociology
National Category
Sociology Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-1785 (URN)2320/13258 (Local ID)2320/13258 (Archive number)2320/13258 (OAI)
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G., Theandersson, C. & Carlén, M. (2014). Neoliberal Rationalities in Swedish Vocational Higher Education. In: : . Paper presented at XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology. Facing an unequal world: Challenges for global sociology, 13-19 July, 2014, Yokohama, Japan.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neoliberal Rationalities in Swedish Vocational Higher Education
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The increasing function of universities as institutions for mass education might affect democracy and the universities' contribution to society. Students as choice-agents need to be involved in these processes. This paper scrutinises how students’ practical considerations for choices in education and future occupations correspond to policy objectives of socially productive educational choices. These objectives currently follow neoliberal rationalities regarding how to divide the responsibilities between the state and its citizens. In this context, choice-agents have to learn to identify themselves as economic subjects able to cope with economic transformation. The aim of our research is to examine the correspondence between educational policy objectives and students’ educational choices in practice. The research questions posed are to what extent students’ choices and motives reflect a (neoliberal) instrumentality? Is there a resistance against such rationalities in students’ actual choice-strategies? This issue is empirically investigated via a semi-structured questionnaire (n=322) with students from 7 vocational Swedish Human Resource programs in higher education. The case of higher education programme was seen as relevant, since weak professional university programs tend to stimulate rationalities amongst students that ritualise the role of education in terms of its formal credentials. Vocational programs are also a significant growth sector in higher education, with large proportions of non-traditional students. What is unclear, however, is whether these forms of education reinforce a desired policy ambition with regard to instrumental choices in education. These are policy rationalities that are questioned in the paper from a choice agency approach. The results of the study point to patterns where students tend to resist instrumentality and integrate their decisions in education as reflexive and relative autonomous personal projects in relation to the recognized social powers of the labor market.

Keywords
Neoliberal rationalities, choice-agents, vocational higher education, Sociology
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7341 (URN)2320/14657 (Local ID)2320/14657 (Archive number)2320/14657 (OAI)
Conference
XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology. Facing an unequal world: Challenges for global sociology, 13-19 July, 2014, Yokohama, Japan
Note

Paper presented at the International Sociological Association’s World Congress of Sociology 13-19 July 2014, Yokohama, Japan

Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-03-01Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G. & Beach, D. (2013). Changing higher education: Converging policy-packages and changing academic work in Sweden. In: : . Paper presented at Presented at the Ethnographies of Higher Education Conference, Charles University, Prague, May 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing higher education: Converging policy-packages and changing academic work in Sweden
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7112 (URN)2320/13119 (Local ID)2320/13119 (Archive number)2320/13119 (OAI)
Conference
Presented at the Ethnographies of Higher Education Conference, Charles University, Prague, May 2013
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved
Puaca, G. (2013). Educational choices of the future: a sociological inquiry into micro-politics in education. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Gothenburg ; Department of Sociology and Work Science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Educational choices of the future: a sociological inquiry into micro-politics in education
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates how students’ practical considerations for future choices in education and occupations correspond to policy objectives of socially productive educational choices. This is conveyed through the primary aim of analyzing the correspondence between on the one hand educational policy intentions and on the other hand students’ educational choices and the social and cultural conditions that structure them. These concerns are addressed with specific aims in four different articles. However, the following research questions have been of central guidance for framing the main issue: (1) How are economic, political and social processes brought together on a policy level for motivating and regulating individuals’ educational choices (Article I)? (2) How do students’ educational choices correspond with policy intentions and the assumptions of rational choice that the latter are founded on (Article I-II)? (3) How are students’ educational choices shaped by wants and identities (Article II-IV)? (4) What is the relationship between students’ want formation and relevant social and cultural conditions (Article II-IV)? The empirical material consisted of interviews and semi-structured questionnaires with young people in secondary education and higher education, and interviews with school staff in secondary education. Empirical inquiries were also conveyed via a semiotic content analysis on recent policy: specifically the Swedish Long-Term Surveys from 2008 and 2011. In comprehensive terms, the rationality of choices from both how choice is practiced and what is desired has been of primary interest. These concerns are addressed by the following emphases in the different investigations. In Article I the form of government that aims to shape actors’ wants and decisions in relation to productive educational choices in the Long-Term Surveys is investigated. The forms of rationality in general, and the suggested implementation of rational choices in particular, are here analyzed through a critical semiotic analysis. The result of the study lifts forward critical distinctions of ontological and epistemological assumptions in how to delineate social and economic claims for the righteousness, reasonableness and necessity of choices. Article II focuses on how students’ wants and choices are formed in a vocational (vehicle maintenance program) and a theoretical (social science program) upper secondary education. By examining students’ want-lists complemented by interviews with students and school staff the study argues that it is important to view wants in an organic totality based on individual and collective experiences. The results show a pragmatic rationality in students’ decision-making, which challenges instrumental rationality in educational choices. This is importantly about how structural support guides students’ decisions over the future under conditions of the radical uncertainty that marks decisions in open social systems. In article III the analysis of vocational and theoretical upper secondary students’ want formations are further developed in relation to their educational environment. Through analysis of interviews with students, teachers, principals and student counselors the article pays particular attention to institutional school effects and school habitus. The results showed that different forms of school habitus in the investigated programs could be empirically attributed to how students form their wants. Article IV investigates identity work via a semi-structured questionnaire and group interviews with students from a Swedish Human Resource program in higher education. What in particular was investigated was how symbolic signification of education and occupations occurred within education. The actual meaning students attributed to education rested importantly on collective sense-making. Indicated in the results is that the meaning of being a student incorporates an awareness of social status and an ability to form relatively autonomous personal projects related to social forces. The result of the thesis points to a lack of correspondence between, on the one hand, political notions of how rational and utility maximizing choices should be made based on effective matching of education and working life and, on the other hand, how young people form their paths into the future in practice through education choices. Students often make their educational choices due to a lack of better alternatives and are often uncertain about where their choices will take them in life. These results show that there is a need for concrete support in schools in order to turn students’ insecurity about the future into useful strategies for educational and occupational paths.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Gothenburg ; Department of Sociology and Work Science, 2013
Series
Göteborg studies in sociology, ISSN 1650-4313 ; 53
Keywords
Educational choice, Micro-politics, Want-formation, Habitus, Identity
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-3656 (URN)2320/12335 (Local ID)978-91-979397-8-2 (ISBN)2320/12335 (Archive number)2320/12335 (OAI)
Note

Akademisk avhandling för filosofie doktorsexamen i sociologi vid institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap, Göteborgs universitet, som med tillstånd av samhällsvetenskapliga fakultetsnämnden läggs fram fredagen den 14 juni 2013 kl. 10.15 i sal 10, universitetsbyggnaden, Vasaparken.

Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-07-14
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