В весеннем семестре Михаил Соколов посетил факультет социологии Университета Граца (Австрия), где как приглашенный профессор прочитал курс Sociology of science и выступил с докладом “A theory (and the art) of academic inattention: Communicative conduct among social scientists in Saint Petersburg, Russia”.
The aims of this course are twofold: first, it introduces the major themes of the sociology of academic life; second, it is presented as a user’s guide to an academic career. After a very brief introduction to the history of major academic institutions (universities, research institutes, degrees, career ladders, etc.), it will proceed to discuss the best answers social science has to offer on the questions that every academic is concerned with, such as: Who becomes famous? Where (institutionally and geographically) do good ideas come from? Why the majority of great discoveries made in a handful of research centres? How do academics find jobs? What really increases the chance of finding good employment? Who makes the crucial decisions in universities and “holds the strings” of academic power? Why does university governance (as well as that of other non-profit organizations) increasingly rely on the extensive use of quantitative performance indicators? What are students doing at universities (and why is it usually not what their professors want them to be doing)? Presenting research on these topics will also serve to discuss theoretical ideas from a wide range of social sciences, such as social network analysis, neo-institutional economics, market signaling theory (Spence), resource-dependence and neo-institutional theories of organizations, world-system and world-policy analysis, Goffman’s version of the strategic interaction theory, amongst others.