Homo-Prestigious? University Status and the Academic Career

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
12:00pm to 1:00pm Lunch to Follow
8th Floor Barrows, Social Science Matrix Room 820
Stephanie Beyer
Visiting Scholar, Germany, CSHE, UC Berkeley Researcher, Doctoral Student, University of Bamberg, Germany

Stephanie Beyer’s talk will focus on her dissertation centered on “Homo-Prestigious? University Status and the Academic Career”. Rankings have a long tradition in the US higher education system that has been described as a caste system in which faculty is recruited from the most elite universities. Prestigious divisions do not only shape the institution itself but also the visions of academics. Stephanie Beyer analyzes how departmental prestige affects the perception of professors and PhD students. She investigates how distinctions among institutions shape different career trajectories and academic perceptions: their views on autonomy, rankings, and competition for funding. Beyer applies a mixed methods approach using geometrical data analysis and interviews conducted with faculty and PhD-candidates from different prestigious departments. Join the conversation as we discuss university status and the academic career.


Stephanie Beyer is currently a visiting scholar in the Center For Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley. She is also a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Bamberg, Germany. In her thesis entitled "Transformation of Higher Education Systems: A Comparison of the University Systems and Academic Career Paths in the USA and Germany", she is analyzing the consequences of the changing university systems (especially after budget cuts and increasing competition) in Germany and the US as well as its consequences on scientific careers. During her stay at CSHE she is conducting further interviews to learn more about researchers’ career trajectories within US higher education. She is examining how departmental prestige affects academics' views on their careers as well their perception on autonomy within academia. Moreover Stephanie is interested in Pierre Bourdieu's field theory, multiple correspondence analysis as well as the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods.