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The Tertiary Turn: Locating “The Academy” in Autobiographical Accounts of Activism in Manchester, UK and Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

Kyle, Richard G.; Milligan, Christine; Kearns, Robin A.; Larner, Wendy; Fyfe, Nicholas R.; Bondi, Liz


Richard G. Kyle

Christine Milligan

Robin A. Kearns

Wendy Larner

Nicholas R. Fyfe

Liz Bondi


Activists often strategically negotiate sectoral boundaries by switching between public, private and voluntary sectors over the life course in order to pursue their aims. This paper draws on a cross-national study that explored the extent of this inter-sectoral movement and the specific “career pathways” activists developed in relation to governmental, private and voluntary/community sector organisations. Using an analysis of 46 biographical narratives gathered from activists in Manchester, UK and Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand during 2007 we situate “the academy” in these life stories of activism. Teasing out from these accounts the motivations behind a turn towards tertiary education at particular moments we examine how “academia” supports and sustains individual activists while legitimising and professionalising their activism. In so doing, we track the tactical transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise effected by contact with “the academy” to make substantive and conceptual claims around the future role universities might play in the knowledge economy.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2010
Publication Date 2011-09
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2015
Print ISSN 0066-4812
Electronic ISSN 1467-8330
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 1181-1214
Keywords Earth-Surface Processes; Geography, Planning and Development
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