Tag Archives: Agency

Managing Academic Development in Constrained Contexts: Case Study of a University Satellite Campus in Namibia (Published)

This ethnographic case study explored the challenges besetting academic development (AD) at a satellite campus of a leading university in Namibia. It sought to establish and proffer suggestions on how AD should evolve at the institution, being mindful of any enabling or constraining cultural, structural and agential factors. Three research questions guided the study. The study sample was purposefully selected and comprised the acting head of campus, two Heads of Department, three academic coordinators, the Quality Assurance Coordinator, the student support officer and the Student Counsellor. The findings of the study revealed that this relatively new professional field of academic development has not received the best of receptions by a significantly large portion of academic staff members, including some key agents. The study found that there was a general apathy and reluctance to afford the AD practitioners the space and ‘license’ to exercise their practice.  Based on the forgoing findings, the study recommended that the AD practitioners in the constrained contexts be accorded recognition and support by the key agents in the institution and that innovative interventions be put in place to promote AD processes.

Keywords: Agency, Culture, Structure, academic development, morphogenetic

When Causation Is Manipulation: The Case of Causative GET (Published)

Throughout history, the norm of reciprocity has shaped human psychology, emphasizing the role of cues such as debt, favor, bargain and obligation in governing social relations. Manipulation premises are widely-accepted in analyzing agency theories and decoding mind-control techniques. Awareness of the effectiveness of these manipulative schemes is essential to counter verbal manipulation and isolate the necessary features that make up the manipulative scenario. Such curious use is prevalent in causal discourse, highlighting the intricacy between causation and manipulation. The case of the English verb GET is illustrative of the manipulative meaning which characterizes the causative use of this verb in the International Corpus of English.

Keywords: Agency, Causation, Desirability, Force-dynamics, Manipulation