How complex domination enables selection: Academic hiring conventions in a Pakistani university

Qamar Ali & Julia Brandl (2018)

European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Online first

Abstract. The heterogeneity of criteria and of the faculty members involved in assessing candidates for academic positions raises the question how colleagues can find a common operational mode that enables them to select candidates. In this paper, we draw on convention theory (CT) to examine how powerful actors foster quietude and confidence in prevailing conventions which perpetuate their privileges. Findings from a study of a university in Pakistan show how actors use coordinative power to amend regulations, but also highlight how participating colleagues may resist this. The findings help to explicate the notion of complex domination and enrich CT scholars’ understanding of factors that can exacerbate inequalities in hiring.

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