Details zu 10.14361/9783839445549-005

"University Elders,"Young Professors" and Students_A Generational Approach to the History of Higher Education in Russia in the Late 19th Century_71_90__Saburova, Tatiana{0000027038}
DOI: 10.14361/9783839445549-005
In the proposed article I analyze recent attempts to take a fresh look at sociological as well as historical approaches to “generational studies” and their linkages with “aging studies.” Emphasizing the value of traditional sociological categories of age cohorts and the study of demographics as a factor of change in education, in academic communities and consequently as a contributor to educational politics, I demonstrate how the generation approach can be applied to the study of the professoriate; to delineate the essential contours of the academic community; to demonstrate its influence upon the development of universities as a whole and to prognosticate change, diagnose problems and identify tendencies, looking from comparative perspective and using works by Western as well Russian scholars. The article poses the question of how applicable are models constructed by sociologists for the study of Russian higher education. How possible is it to combine the generational approach to actually existing (demographic) age cohorts within the academic community of the 19th and 20th century – with understandings of generation as a constructed “symbolic community”? Generational identity was unquestionably significant within university culture in Russia, for both students and professors interacted and situated themselves within a designated “generation” both real and imagined; described the mutual relations of professors and students in generational terms, and professors situated themselves discursively within their own community using generational markers. Generational succession as well as generational conflict were key concepts at the time when treating the history of the university itself. I explore the linkages between the concept of generation and the idea of age; how “age” was understood, described and used within the university culture in Russia; how “age” characteristics and identifications became a part of the political and cultural discourse in the Russian educated society and their dynamics over time. For this article I draw upon memoirs about the Russian universities written by former students and faculty, correspondence between professors and their diaries, publications in the journal of the Ministry of Education, novels picturing the Russian university life and academic community, and visual representations of the Russian professoriate in photographs.