Experiences from Academia Around the World
Edited by Saija Katila, Susan Meriläinen and Janne Tienari
Chapter 1: Introduction: Making Inclusion Work in Academia
Janne Tienari, Susan Meriläinen and Saija Katila This book is for inclusion and multiplicity in academia. To this end, it is against standardization. As academics in Western countries, we are being organized to conform to rigid standards of teaching and research. This book shows how we can meaningfully challenge such standardization through inclusive practices in our everyday work. We – the authors in this edited volume – present inclusive ideas and ways of interacting that have worked in different university contexts around the world. We share our personal experiences on working for inclusion, account for the relative success of our efforts and provide insights that may prove helpful for others, too. We care passionately about inclusion in academic work. For us, inclusion means bringing in new voices, themes and methods in teaching and research. Most often, inclusion refers in this book to incorporating considerations of gender and ethnicity in the ways in which curricula, courses and research projects are developed and run. By questioning established power relations, privileged knowledge and locally held truths regarding good and proper academic standards and practice, we have each in our own way sought to challenge the status quo. We have sought to make alternative understandings and practices visible. We are aware of current criticism of ‘positive scholarship’ (Fineman, 2006). We distance ourselves from this notion. As feminist organization and management scholars we have learned not to be naive. We are aware of unequal power relations and structures of domination that our work is embedded in....