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Network for Intersectional Research into Higher Education (NIRHE)


This is a network about research in higher education from an intersectional power perspective (Crenshaw 1991, de los Reyes, Molina & Mulinari 2006). It is a forum where researchers from different scientific disciplines, with different perspectives, but with partly overlapping research questions can meet.

Higher education is an institution and work place in continuous change, lately influenced by the neo-liberal ideas with focus on market adjustment. Higher education did change towards increased recruitment of students form different social groups to once again strengthen the former selection principles. Examples are reduced initiatives with the intention to increasing the proportion of mature students; decreased funding of higher education institutions, mostly affecting the university colleges; and increased competition for external research funding facilitating those who already have established networks and research groups.

At the same time research about higher education as a study- and work place has expanded substantially the latest years. Feminist research about gender equality in higher education has contributed to a development of multidisciplinary knowledge, engaging researcher from sociology, political science, education, psychology among others. As the denomination also indicates, research about gender equality in higher education tends to focus on one differentiating category, gender, in its analyses. Invisible becomes the way in which gender interact with other social structures that contributes to inequality. In this network we intend to build on the important research done within the field of gender equality in higher education and add an intersectional power perspective. Members of the network study the interplay between different social categories such as gender, age, ethnicity, social class, academic position and how these are constructed, and construct different conditions for the distribution of power and resources on different levels in higher education.

The network makes it possible for researchers in Europe to cooperate around different conditions for studies and work within higher education at different levels (individual, institutional and governmental). Via the multidisciplinary and multimethodological cooperation, the network can contribute to methodological and theoretical development of intersectional studies about higher education.

The network is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and defray travelling costs and one day expenses for European members once a year. The funding runs from 2011 to 2013 inclusive.

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Contact person

Dr. Caroline Berggren
Network coordinator
E-mail: caroline.berggren@ped.gu.se

Contact Information

Department of Education and Special Education

PO Box 300, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Visiting Address:
Pedagogen Hus A, Västra Hamngatan 25

+46 31 786 0000

+46 31 786 2070

Page Manager: Anders Åkerström|Last update: 9/23/2011

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