Excellence and/or Equal Opportunities for Men and Women: National Policies and Discursive Practices at Universities (Germany and Switzerland)

Embedded in the discourse on the entrepreneurial university, the project aims to analyse the ongoing reforms in the academic world with regard to excellence and equal opportunities for women and men. More concrete, the project will focus on the national policies and discursive practices of the daily life in the chosen universities in Germany and in Switzerland, which will be the subject of the sociological discourse analysis.

Firstly, with respect to the reflexive research on the use of knowledge and to the concepts of gender knowledge it will be elaborated, which understandings of masculinity, femininity and gender relations are constructed in discourses on excellence and equal opportunities. Secondly, it will be investigate as to what degree and with which consequences each of the discovered discourses on the national-programmatic policy level is newly negotiated, transformed or newly outlined at the local organizational level. Thirdly, the correlation of discourses on excellence and equal opportunities will be studied, and which patterns of justification and effects of the national policies and the local organizational practices of excellence and equal opportunities in their reciprocal reference or coexistence can be found.

The project part "Equal Opportunities" (University of St. Gallen) is carried out by Prof. Dr. Julia Nentwich (project leader) with Carolina Borra Krages and Ursula Offenberger (research associates), the project part "Excellence" (University of Hildesheim/Ruhr University Bochum) by Prof. Dr. Heike Kahlert (project leader) with Sahra Dornick, Dr. Niels Spilker and Sarah Zapusek (research associates).

The project proposal was prepared and submitted in the framework of the International Research Group „Entrepreneurial University and Gender Change“.


The German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) in the framework of D-A-CH/Lead Agency Procedure between the DFG, FWF (the Austrian Science Fund) and SNF

Duration of the project