Paradoxes, contradictions, and deep feelings of ambivalence, or, academia still appeals

Eeva Berglund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This essay compares experiences of a reluctant exit from academia at the start of the millennium with recent, contrasting, experiences. The story of academic work-life misery continues. At the same time there is great ambivalence about its potential to help society learn about ever more frightening problems. I show that academia already engages in significant, perhaps existentially crucial ways, with public concerns of all kinds, and indeed that science owes a great debt to protest movements. The text discusses these issues in as they appear in the discourse of the Anthropocene. This is a prominent part of teaching and research in a sustainability focused Masters programme at a Finnish university. The institution has a very corporate style, bringing with it many of the exact problems that critical commentators have identified with the contemporary university, yet it offers openings for developing rather than undermining the learning that public life now needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Public Sociology
EditorsLavinia Bifulco, Vando Borghi
Place of PublicationCheltenham, Glos, UK / Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80037-738-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-80037-737-0
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Sociology series
PublisherEdward Elgar


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