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The construction of Academic Academies: Art, research and marketization as competing discourses
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art. (Aestethics, Culture and Media (ACCLAIM))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3758-7541
Konstnärliga fakulteten, Lunds universitet, Lund, Sweden.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. (ACCLAIM)
Dresden University of Music, Dresden, Germany.
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2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim of this paper

This paper draws on the on-going comprehensive three-year study Discourses of Academization and the Music Profession in Higher Music Education (DAPHME) conducted by a team of senior researchers in Sweden, Norway and Germany. The overall purpose of the project is to investigate how processes of academization affect performing musician programmes. By focusing discourses in higher music education (HME) the project, more specifically, explores contrasting perspectives on performing musicians’ expertise and societal mandate. Data are gathered through official documents and interviews with institutional leaders and teachers in HME across Europe.

Based on the preliminary analysis of about 30 interviews this paper presents findings that concern notions of competence, knowledge and research activities within HME. We will particularly discuss these findings in relation to the analytic framework of critical discourse analysis (Angermüller 2007; Fairclough 1993, 2009, 2010).

The Context

Performing musician programmes around Europe currently find themselves in a phase of change. While the main concern of HME during the 20th century has been to educate musicians and composers for a profession where conceptions of craftsmanship and artistic skill were given, new conditions for employability and processes of academization are now challenging this expert culture. Since the Bologna declaration 1999, music institutions must stimulate research activities within the context of artistic practice. Musical expertise is thus not enough for today’s music profession. Traditionally, concepts like employability and (artistic) research have not played an important role in music profession. Therefore it is likely that conflicts arise when these enter the discourses on and within music academies. In a wider context, this also concerns the broader issue of the role of higher education in times of marketization and instrumentalization.

Methodology

Empirical data consist of official documents (e.g. syllabi, official presentations, self evaluations, political documents related to the Bologna process) and interviews with leaders and teachers within four institutions in Sweden, Norway and Germany respectively. We are primarily interested in exploring the tensions between different viewpoints within higher education institutions. Therefore we are focusing on those responsible for implementing educational policies on a daily basis, rather than interrogating students’ experiences. The topics addressed in the open-ended interviews, central for this paper, concern notions of competence, knowledge, and artistic research, as well as views on their functions in education and in the music profession.

In order to analytically capture and make visible the tensions that indicate negotiations and renegotiations of higher music education, the analytic framework of critical discourse analysis (Fairclough 1993, 2009, 2010), combined with linguistically informed French discourse analysis (Foucault 1974), especially enunciative pragmatics (Angermüller 2007) are used. The reason for this choice is CDA’s view on discourse, not only as language in general but discourses as a form of social interaction and practice (Fairclough 1993; 2009). Changes, and discursive events, in society help to shape both institutions and interactions between actors. This relationship can be understood in terms of a mix of discourses. The method of analysis can therefore demonstrate how multiple, competing discourses are shaped by the politics of education reforms. Over time, different discursive practices within and across institutions are also restructured.

Earlier examinations concerning the purposes of higher (music) education, and its role in relation to society and the individual, provided three key discourses (Barkholt 2005; Georgii-Hemming, Burnard & Holgersen 2013; Unemar Öst 2009; Kezar 2004; Hufner 2003, Johansson 2013; Wilson and van Ruiten 2014; Stephens 2013), which served as the foundation for the first phases of our analysis: (i) The classical academic discourse, (ii) The discourse of marketization; (iii) The discourse of artistic freedom.

These articulations have a long history in the Western world, but are also present within the European policy arena today. Thus, present-day articulations adhere to, and in different ways reformulate, earlier ideas about higher (music) education. Following Fairclough (e.g. 2010), discursive struggles are fundamental social conditions. Different social actors have access to, and help to create, plural discourses, which does not mean that certain discourses are linked to specific actors. However, depending on the distribution of power particular discourses are easier to obtain than other.

With regards to academic institutions, it is fairly common that they acquire a hybrid discourse where elements of the ”Entrepreneurial University” are added to, and fused with, classical European university norms and structures (Melander 2006). This potentially means that art academies are currently in a process of developing hybrid discourses where components from articuations of art, research and market are mixed.

Conclusion

This paper deals with empirical discursive objects in a theoretical way and will engage in a critical reflection of the nexus of language, knowledge and practice in contemporary higher music education. Preliminary analyses indicate discourses between at least two social logics: in the world of knowledge to be recognised as part of a specialised art community and in the world of power to be recognised as part of academic organisations with a certain status (c.f. Angermüller 2013). 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-55435OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-55435DiVA: diva2:1072510
Conference
The 22nd conference of Nordic Network for Research in Music Education Academy of Music and Drama (NNMPF 2017), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, March 14–16, 2017
Projects
Discourses of Academization and the Music Profession in Higher Music Education (DAPHME)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P15-0255:1
Available from: 2017-02-08 Created: 2017-02-08 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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