Based on three years of participatory field work, this article seeks to study the determinants and effects of hierarchies between academic disciplines in the context of a large multidisciplinary research university in France. Universities are the primary locus distributing symbolic and material resources in the scientific field. The French future investments programme has amplified inequalities between disciplines, without however having a considerable effect on their institutional structuring. This article seeks to demonstrate how the social sciences and humanities are globally marginalised in struggles to impose the norms of legitimate scientific practice even if some disciplines have managed to procure an advantageous position. Moreover, this article will elucidate how governance indicators contribute to the internalisation of disciplinary hierarchies. These dynamics, combined with the differentiated social representation of students’ “seriousness” according to their subject, works to mask the uneven erosion of work and study conditions between academic disciplines.
- Disciplinary hierarchies
- sociology of research and higher learning
- sociology of indicators