Academic capitalism and Identity Motility in Geoscience Education Research

Amanda Garrison, Anthony D Feig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most workers in physical and life science discipline based educational research (DBER) use social science tools and methods. This practice has led many of them to self-identify as social scientists, despite not having formal training in social science theory. The authors present a case study of the growth of the DBER of geoscience education (GED). Its practitioners are currently engaged in an effort to grow their discipline by 1) engaging in identity motility from physical to social science and 2) pushing GED towards a model of academic disaster capitalism. These two processes operate as an integrated phenomenon. This transition from a nascent, inclusive DBER towards a more hierarchical and patriarchal one is driven by the need for legitimacy through 1) perceived research rigor and 2) access to federal funding. The authors deconstruct the attempts of GED workers to negotiate and obtain Power. A generalized model of disciplinary identity motility is presented. Finally, recommendations are made for 1) harmonious and productive relationships between DBERs and social sciences and 2) means of subverting and resisting technocratic capitalistic oppression in academia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Studies in Education
StateIn preparation - 1800


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