The impact of impact

Knowles, Caroline and Burrows, Roger. 2014. The impact of impact. Etnográfica, 18(2), pp. 237-254. ISSN 0873-6561 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper explores ways in which the new preoccupation with “impact” – understood as “influence” beyond the academy – formalised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) in UK universities reshapes the working conditions and practices in which contemporary anthropology and sociology are produced and, ultimately, what these disciplines are able to be. It suggests that impact, in concert with broader changes in, what we might think of as, the “metricization” of higher education, reshapes the relationship between universities and government bringing new cultures of precarity to these disciplines. This paper ruminates on how impact – a new addition to the metric assemblages that now dominate universities – shapes the kinds of research we can do, as well as the conditions in which we do it. It notes the deepening competition, the narrowing of disciplines, and the emphasis on the visibility and performance of intellectual labour.

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impact, higher education, UK, metrics, markets, anthropology and sociology

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8 July 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Oct 2014 13:28

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:02

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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