Hung up

I’ve written on governmentality before, but that has been more of me going through how Michel Foucault explores and explains it in his work, namely in an aptly named essay ‘Governmentality’, which can be found in ‘The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality with Two Lectures by and an Interview with Michel Foucault’. This is not directly related to my work. It is, however, directly related to how I get to do my work, if and when I get to do my work, so I thought I’d give another go.

This time I’ll be looking at how it pertains to the everyday life of someone like me, who could be labeled as early career researchers (ECRs) or early stage researchers (ESRs). The former gets used more in general whereas the latter is defined in European Union legalese (see, for example: Commission Recommendation of 11 March 2005 on the European Charter for Researchers and on a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers) as:

“[T]he term Early-Stage Researcher … refers to researchers in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research activity, including the period of research training,”

Which is contrasted with:

“Experienced Researchers … are defined as researchers having at least four years of research experience (full-time equivalent) since gaining a university diploma giving them access to doctoral studies, in the country in which the degree/diploma was obtained or researchers already in possession of a doctoral degree, regardless of the time taken to acquire it.”

In other words, you are considered an experienced researcher if you have a doctorate. However, it’s worth noting that this also applies to anyone with at least four years of full-time research experience after being granted the rights to doctoral studies. Now, it’s obvious that, as of now, right now, I fall into the ESR category, albeit it’ll soon be hazy whether that applies or not as it’ll really depend on what is meant by full-time. Ask a doctoral candidate how many hours they put into something and it’ll be hard to give you a number because it’s hard to delineate work from free time.

Of course labels in legal documents are not exactly the same thing as things are in real life. For example, EURAXESS – Researchers in Motion, the EU portal for “unique pan-European initiative delivering information and support services to professional researchers” that “supports researcher mobility and career development, while enhancing scientific collaboration between Europe and the world” uses a different classification that refers to ‘First Stage Researcher’, ‘Recognized Researcher’, ‘Established Researcher’ and ‘Leading Researcher’ with remarkably bland R1 to R4 designations that tell you nothing. I struggled finding a way to navigate to the specific area of the site on their site, but searching for ‘Research profiles descriptors’ should do the trick. Apparently, that is unless I’m mistaken, this is based on a document known as ‘Towards a European Framework for Research Careers’, dated July 21, 2011. In the document it is indicated that (2) R1 is “up to the point of PhD”, R2 is “PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent”, R3 is “researchers who have developed a level of independence” and R4 is “researchers leading their research area or field”.

I’m going to look at R1 first. I’ll mark what applies to me accordingly, if for nothing else than for the added humor value. It is indicated (7) that researchers labeled as R1 includes doctoral candidates (check), “carry out research under supervision” (…?), “have the ambition to develop knowledge of research methodologies and discipline” (check), “have demonstrated a good understanding of a field of study” (check), “have demonstrated the ability to produce data under supervision” (…?), “be capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas” (check), “be able to explain the outcome of research and value thereof to research colleagues” (check). I marked the supervision bits with question marks because I’ve basically done those things unsupervised. Sure, I’ve have had the blessing of my supervisor whatever I’ve done but no, no one held my hand or kept me under surveillance while I was at it. I’ve done what I’ve done by myself, for myself, constantly making … up as I go as one might expect when you do something new and exciting. I find those bits actually rather condescending, infantilizing, as if you wouldn’t be able to do anything by yourself but rather clinging on to your seniors.

In contrast to R1, the R2 is defined (8) as having a doctorate, the all empowering PhD or equivalent experience and competence, but, yet, “hav[ing] not yet established a significant level of independence.” So, oddly enough, this is still infantiziling the researcher, despite having the qualifications. Apparently it’s not enough to have what it takes in terms of knowledge, ambition and critical analysis listed for R1. It’s also not enough to have (8) “demonstrated a systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of research associated with that field”, “the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial programme of research with integrity”, “made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work, innovation or application”, “demonstrate[d] critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas” and “be able to explain the outcome of their research and value thereof to the research community”, as well as having “[c]o-author[ed] papers at workshop[s] and conferences[.]” No no, the researcher is still not independent … enough. I wonder what totes amazeballs is in store for R3.

It’s indicated (10) that R3 is when you “have developed a level of independence.” I can only chuckle at this. Not independence, but a level of independence. So, independent but not still not exactly independent? Haha! The what … now? How old does one need to be independent? Anyway, it’s noted (10) that all of the above applies, but now the researcher “[h]as an established reputation based on research excellence in their field” (oh, it’s about your track record! yay for one upping y’all!), “makes a positive contribution to the development of knowledge, research and development through co-operations and collaborations” (aka conducts research?), “[i]dentifies research problems and opportunities within [one’s] area of expertise” (aka does something novel?) and “appropriate research methodologies and approaches” (aka knows what to do and how?), “[c]onducts research independently which advances a research agenda” (which you’d think you’d do in the first place, eh?), “[c]an take the lead in executing collaborative research projects in cooperation with colleagues and project partners” (oh, great, hierarchy among peers…), “[p]ublishes papers as lead author, organises workshop or conference sessions” (aka does something on one’s own).

I find it hilarious that you are to level up to R3, go up two levels from the set starting point, to be, supposedly, able to do something like doing your own thing, to know what that thing is and how it ought to be approached. Haha! Oh my! My oh my! I did this in the first year of R1! Even better I did this before R1! No one told me what to do or read for my BA, nor my MA. I did something as crazy as doing things by myself, for myself. No one gave me the relevant literature, nor the data. I did all that and it was not even hard. Yes, it did take time and effort, but so does about everything. Independence, no, sorry, a level of independence, so not even actual independence, happens only on level three, which I take to be some years, if not a decade, of non-independent research after a PhD. You are killing me with this. R4 better eclipse this in terms of the humor.

R4 is indicated (11) as the level in which “a researcher lead[s] their area or field.” In other words, the researcher is not only a researcher but a team leader, “the team leader of a research group or head of an industry R&D laboratory.” Now that’s a bit too field specific, so it’s also pointed out (11) that this may mean in certain disciplines that the researcher operates as a lone researcher. Right, in other words, to be truly independent, no longer infantilized, you need to reach level four in the system. I can’t help put to think of this along the lines of some sacred order or society in which you level up through the ranks. The point here is that you need to make it to the top in order not to be a follower who, well, aren’t independent because they are mere followers, disciples. What this level entails is explained (11) as including the earlier levels but surpassing them, as one might expect already. More specifically, on this level the researcher “[h]as an international reputation based on research excellence in their field” (a patriarch?), “[d]emonstrates critical judgment in the identification and execution of research activities” (passing the judgment of gods of academia?), “[m]akes a substantial contribution (breakthroughs) to their research field or spanning multiple areas” (gets all the credit?), “[d]evelops a strategic vision on the future of the research field” (an oracle?), “[r]ecognises the broader implications and applications of their research” (clairvoyance?) and “[p]ublishes and presents influential papers and books, serves on workshop and conference organising committees and delivers invited talks” (a preacher?).

I do have to give it to the people, the ones responsible for drafting this document. It gets better and better as you go through the text, through the levels from R1 to R4. Sure, the levels below R4 made me chuckle, but R4 was not a let down either. I know they are trying to do good with this, to make it easier to grasp what’s what and what is to be expected of researchers, but at least the way I read it, it just segments you into this and/or that. It doesn’t recognize that there are people who are not only ambitious, but also very independent already, way before it is, apparently, to be expected of researchers. Oddly enough, this just ends up setting up a frame that positions those without certain formal qualifications, namely those without a doctorate, the R1 people here, as the unworthy. They went with the title ‘First Stage Researcher’ but, in contrast to the ‘Recognised Researcher’, it would be more apt to call it ‘Unrecognised Researcher’ instead. In other words, it’s not even being unworthy, lacking something necessary in terms of, for example, knowledge, but about being formally recognized. It’s not that you are nothing, a nobody, but that you aren’t anything. You don’t exist, unless you are recognized as such.

I like how this is addressed by Pierre Bourdieu in ‘Ökonomisches Kapital, kulturelles Kapital, soziales Kapital’, translated to English as ‘The Forms of Capital’. I have discussed this in more detail before in one of my previous essays, but I don’t mind going through this again briefly. Anyway, Bourdieu (247) brings up autodidacticism, learning things by yourself:

“[There is a] difference between the capital of the autodidact, which may be called into question at any time, … and the cultural capital academically sanctioned by legally guaranteed qualifications, formally independent of the person of their bearer.”

The point here really is, in case you didn’t get it, that it doesn’t count if it isn’t legitimized. Your knowledge isn’t legit unless … before it’s acknowledged as such. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t matter if you embody all the good traits associated with R2/R3/R4 if you are designated as an R1. It’s also worth noting that just to make it to R1, the first rung, you need to have qualified for it, having obtained the necessary qualifications. That’s typically a Master’s Degree. We could call it the R0, being at the bottom of the ladder, having access to the said ladder.

Now, it seems that I’ve ended up on a tangent. That I have, or so it may seem. That said, this is all very relevant to what I wanted to jump straight into initially. I wanted to explain the acronyms first, but that resulted in a joyous exploration of good intentions gone bad, in my opinion that is. Anyway, the thing is that this, what’s been covered so far, is quite relevant to what I want to discuss. But before I get to that, I think I’ll reiterate what Foucault has to say about governmentality. Firstly (102), it has to do with:

“The ensemble formed by the institutions, procedures, analyses and reflections, the calculations and tactics that allow the exercise of this very specific albeit complex form of power, which has as its target population, as its principal form of knowledge political economy, and as its essential technical means apparatuses of security.”

Secondly, it is (102-103):

“The tendency which, over a long period and throughout the West, has steadily led towards the pre-eminence over all other forms (sovereignty, discipline, etc.) of this type of power which may be termed government, resulting, on the one hand, in the formation of a whole series of specific governmental apparatuses, and, on the other, in the development of a whole complex of savoirs.”

The third part (103) I don’t think I need to reiterate from the previous essay as it only pertains to how it all happened, how the state became governmentalized. What’s particularly important here in the first part is how this has to do with populations and in the second part how it is instrumental and pertains to knowledge. Simply put, as he (95) points out, this has to do with the management of things, ensuring “that the greatest possible quantity of wealth is produced”, “the pursuit of the perfection”, “intensification of the processes which it directs”, while, at the same time, providing people “with sufficient means of subsistence” so “that the population is enabled to multiply, etc.”

Another relevant concept here is biopower. This is also a concept coined by Foucault and can be found discussed in, for example, the first volume of ‘The History of Sexuality’, as well as in “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France 1975–1976’. In volume one of ‘The History of Sexuality’, Foucault (139) brings up discipline as pertaining to optimizing the body of the individual, shaping it in ways that are, in general, useful to the society. He (139) contrasts it with biopower, the optimization of the mass, “the species of the body”. Moreover, he (141) adds that biopower is not by itself sufficient for the optimization of the mass, but that’s where discipline comes in as the means to achieve something on a grand scale, the scale of the population. It only makes sense, really. It’s quite hard to optimize people’s lives, the births and the deaths, if you don’t have any means to do so, if there’s nothing to get people to do as is deemed optimal. Discipline does marvels in this regard. I think Foucault (144) defines biopower aptly in the first volume of ‘The History of Sexuality’:

“[A] power whose task is to take charge of life needs continuous regulatory and corrective mechanisms. It is … of distributing the living in the domain of value and utility. Such a power has to qualify, measure, appraise, and hierarchize … it effects distributions around the norm.”

Two words are particularly important here: utility and norm. The whole point is to have a norm according to which to judge people as of use to the society rather than a hindrance. To put it in simple terms, this is all about min/maxing, minimizing the costs incurred to the mass from each individual that is part of the mass while simultaneously maximizing the profit to be made from each individual. That’s pretty much what optimization means.

Now, you might be puzzled as to how this is at all relevant and/or connected to the everyday life of an Unrecognised Researcher. Perhaps it’s better to speak of an early career researcher, considering that I’m a bit skeptical whether people go with the non-mandatory EU designations, as informative as they may be. Anyway, the point here is that such official labels, be they de jure or de facto, are well intended, to help the young academic (read: job seeker) to find positions (read: jobs) that match existing … skill set. The thing is, however, that it’s only bound to work the other way around. The universities (read: employers) will implement formal criteria as requirements for a certain position (read: job). Simply put, if fail you meet that criteria, the employer can bin that application. The thing is that they don’t even need to do that, as such, considering that, I reckon, all the systems are database driven anyway. Just set certain mandatory fields with fixed options for, for example, level of education and you can have the system automatically filter all those who fail to meet the criteria.

To make this more concrete, we can set some criteria as necessitating a doctorate. Indicate that you only have a Master’s degree and you won’t get the position (read: job). Of course you can set it the other way around as well. Don’t want to hire overqualified people? Just set the system to filter out anyone with a higher education than desired. Now, you might wonder why would anyone do that, what is overqualified anyway? Well, I reckon there’s no such thing as overqualified as such. What it means is that the person is undesirable because the person may opt to seek a better position (read: job) elsewhere. It’s less of a hassle, more optimal, to hire someone who won’t go elsewhere, weigh one’s options, not to mention develop oneself in order broaden one’s horizons in order to … go somewhere else. Simply put, you want to optimize your workforce, spend the least amount of money in wages, as well as any other costs that may incur, for the maximized output. This is employer min/maxing 101.

The system can, of course, be customized to filter more or less anything, not only what degree you happen to hold. Relevant here might be what you studied, your discipline (gotta love that word, for it is often so profoundly ironic in the academic context). For example, if you want someone in the field of linguistics, because, surely, only a formally trained linguist can understand linguistics, you only allow certain preset choices and then filter out all the people who set their field of education, their major, as something else. Boom done, no need to worry about people who clearly aren’t up for the task. The thing here is, as it is with the degree, that this ignores people who they might have the skillset, despite having no formal qualifications, no legitimized record of such. As Bourdieu (247) might put it, it makes it preposterous to know something that wasn’t vetted through the system. Simply put, it’s worth nothing as it’s not recognized as anything.

To give you an example of this, I reckon I’m fairly qualified in geography as that was my minor as an undergrad. I’m actually qualified enough in it that I could teach it to up to high school level and they have to pay me accordingly for my knowledge. I have the formal qualifications for that. However, if I were to apply for university positions in geography, my applications would end up being filtered out because I did not major in geography. I can’t even argue my case because either you did or didn’t study it properly. That means that I can’t point out how much literature in geography I’ve covered while doing my doctorate because autodidacticism doesn’t count. My cultural capital is thus worthless because it’s not recognized.

As a side note, this reminds of how in a recent conference I was asked why I cover so much theory, about things and discourse, and would I simply be able to do my research without it. It was hard to answer the question as I gathered that the person asking the question after my presentation did not understand the core concept, landscape, so, I reckon, I went full Kant and Deleuze on that question. I know, I know, how does someone without a doctorate do that? All I know is that I did, apparently to the person’s great dismay and/or annoyance. How do I know? Well, you know you may’ve stirred some emotions of a professor, apparently a hot shot of sorts in the field (well, not my field though), i.e. an R4, if after the presentations are done you try to compliment a certain point in the presentation of the person asking you the question(s), the person looks and moves away in mid-sentence. Hurt much R4 by being served by an R1? I bet it does. I bet it does. I guess there’s nothing like getting served by some random scruffy looking dude with unkept beard and hair, wearing a t-shirt, some worn shorts and sneakers, hailing from some random backwoods university. The funniest thing is that I didn’t even take it as serving anyone. I take questions as they come and this time was no different. There’s nothing personal to it. For me that was a challenging question and I reckon I managed to answer it well. Others told me so later on as well. The same applies to the related question of what’s the … cough… cough… thing with speaking of discourse and doing quantitative work. I know the way I conceptualize things and how that’s been done in previous research may seem esoteric, but I reckon I was on point with my answers, explaining, for example, that if others have not done similar research, I find it rather dishonest to simply opt for qualitative work. Why? Well, because I can’t know if what I encounter really is a thing or not. I have to put in the extra work. It’d be just lazy to ignore the issue. I also have to explain the theory on … things … or discourse as otherwise the whole endeavor is rather pointless, leading back to the sovereignty and autonomy of the observer, which, pretty much goes against what I explained in my presentation, as based on a ton of prior research on landscapes. Anyway, I didn’t see much into it, whatever, question-answer, question-answer, on the point, but, according to others who were present at the presentation, I, an R1, did manage to pull it off, to effectively serve someone well, well above my pay grade, an R4. It only tells you that it actually matters little in combat-against what your formal qualifications are and what your status is. What matters is the level of combat-between, if you know what I mean (yes, you have to read more if you don’t get it). That said, we can happily forget about this … nonsense … because such could not have happened as my knowledge isn’t formally legit, am I right? All hail the R4!

Okay, back to business. So, it’s entirely possible that they don’t autofilter all applications. Granted. Then again, it’s likely in their interest to do so. Why? Well, the thing about optimization is that it tends to apply to more or less anything. Sure you might miss the odd super knowledgeable autodidact, the diamond in the rough, here or there, but come on, who has the interest and the time, to go through people’s applications in detail, not to mention perhaps further query or interview the person on such. It’s simply way, way more efficient to set certain criteria, then set an automated process that yields you the most useful candidate.

To be fair, I haven’t given actual examples, beside the applicability of my own record, or the lack thereof, so you may object to all of this. I acknowledge that it’s rare to come across people who are autodidacts, people who learn things by themselves for themselves, even if only just for the sake of it. Then again, they do exist and I’d count myself as one. I can’t help but to dabble in a bit of this and a bit of that, as infuriating as that may be to people who like to erect fences around their discipline. I realize that using myself as an example, as brave as that may appear, isn’t necessarily convincing. I mean I haven’t exactly come up with anything that I could claim as my own, as such. I haven’t exactly created something like a concept that no one else ever came up with. So, I reckon it’s better to provide an example of someone who is like me in this regard, an autodidact, but has actually accomplished something, on record, despite having next to no formal qualifications for that.

To give you an example of an autodidact, Félix Guattari ought to do. To my knowledge, he first studied pharmacology but then shifted to philosophy, yet never really getting anywhere with that in the formal sense of progressing in one’s studies. That means that he never had any formal qualifications for … well … beyond finishing high school. François Dosse (38-39) notes in ‘Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari Intersecting Lives’ that Guattari knew Jacques Lacan before he was known for packing a lecture hall, on a first name basis, mind you. This friendship didn’t exactly end well though, as noted by Dosse (71, 183-185), apparently because of Lacan didn’t like those close to him doing things without his supervision. Anyway, Dosse (46) also notes that, if we are to put this in terms of some actual competence, Guattari acquired his training through actual work, not gaining a degree despite attending seminars. In other words, I guess you could call him a student who never graduated. If you are aware of what his line of work was, working at a clinic at La Borde, as discussed by Dosse (46), you’d probably point out how irresponsible that is for someone to work with mental patients despite having no actual formally recognized education in the field.

If we take another example, with whom Guattari, somehow, ended up collaborating with, Gilles Deleuze, he wrote a bunch of books, yes books, not mere cookie cutter mold articles, before his dissertation projects, ‘Différence et répétition’ and ‘Spinoza et le problème de l’expression’. I guess back in the day expectations were a bit higher than they are these days when it comes to productivity and doing things all by yourself. Nothing like publishing a book, what, fifteen, sixteen years before going through your doctoral defense. That said, working together, Deleuze is usually the one who gets the credit and is attributed for this and/or that, because he is the academic of the two, the one formally recognized as such, despite the contributions that can be attributed to Guattari, as noted by Dosse (192). Their books are attributed as Deleuze and Guattari, but there seems to be tendency to ignore the ‘and Guattari’ part. As Dosse (192) notes, looking at Guattari’s notes, it’s evident that he came up with quite a bit of their work. This is further evident from the collection of his notes, eventually published in ‘The Anti-Œdipus Papers’. For example, Guattari (399-401) writes in a diary entry, dated October 6, 1972, that, for him, what really matters is not the end product, but the process:

“When it works I have a ton to spare, I don’t give a shit, I lose it as fast as it comes, and I get more.”

To put it in other words, he is pointing out that when he’s in the zone, he is very productive, coming with up all kinds of things. In his (400) words:

“I’m a sort of inveterate autodidact, a do-it-yourself guy, a sort of Jules Vernes – Voyage to the Center of the Earth. In my own way I don’t stop… But you can’t tell. It’s the work of never-ending reverie.”

It’s worth noting that this is, for him, in contrast to Deleuze, who he (399-401) characterizes as the one who’ll figure out what he’s on about, the one who works a lot and isn’t “fucking around” all the time. It’s not hard to see that he is the hyper productive one of the two, albeit now that risks relegating Deleuze as to some editing capacity, which was hardly the case, as noted by the editor, Stéphane Nadaud (13). Sure, I guess one is more possessed whereas the other is more poised, but as expressed by Nadaud (13), Deleuze wasn’t simple using Guattari, as if situated downstream from Guattari. Instead, as explained by Nadaud (13-14) and rather evident from their collaborations where they point this out explicitly, they functioned in an assemblage. To summarize how it worked, or, to be more specific, how Nadaud (14-16) explains it, it sort of worked for the two as they were somewhat secretive, as well as, I guess, indifferent about what others would think of it, it being a sort of back and forth exchange, of ideas, interesting bits on this and/or that, but never really a discussion that necessarily leads to some synthesis. It’s actually rather academic, as expressed by Deleuze in ‘Secret de fabrication: Nous deux’, for which I’m providing a proper translation included by Nadaud (16):

“Each of us writes one version on a given theme, as it has been established in conversation. Then each of us rewrites it, given the other one’s version… Each of us functions like an incrustation or a citation in the other one’s text, and then, after a while, we’re not sure who is citing whom anymore.”

The point here is that they went back and forth, coming up with this and that, then working and reworking those ideas. If you’ve written citation heavy papers, you’ve run into this. You work on someone else’s work, reworking it, putting it in other words, only to wonder after a while who is saying what now…? What Deleuze says right after this explains this, as included by Nadaud (16):

“It’s a sort of writing made up of variations. These two-fold processes only amplify what goes on when we work alone. It’s the same thing to say: we’re always alone, and: we’re always many. We’re alone when there are two of us, and we’re many when we’re alone.”

Writing is like that, especially when alone. It’s not a linear process without any variation. I don’t know about others but I do go all over the place as I’m writing, jumping back and forth, bouncing around ideas, connecting this and that, often rewriting what others have written, as well what I have written. After a while, it’s then hard to say what is someone else’s and what’s mine, which makes it hard to write academic papers where someone is set to have come up with this and/or that and it is expected of you to cite them. It has this idea of the author that I’ve covered in a previous essay.

To be honest, as pointed out by Nadaud (17-18), it was Deleuze who worked more on the books, hence it sort of makes sense that he is indicated as the first author in their works. Then again, as noted by Nadaud (16-17), it seems that Guattari was particularly important in coming up with the text and did make revisions to finalized texts by Deleuze, which he then did or didn’t take into account. Anyway, be as it may, it’s not at all clear that Deleuze should be indicated as the first author in their collaborations. Had it been up to them, rather than others who expect such of them, I reckon they would not have cared about having their names on their books as it was besides the point for them, for how they worked. Nadaud (19-20) characterizes their work as a boxing match between two modes of thought, Guattari’s diagrams, flow and blinding speediness vs Deleuze’s concepts, precision and imperceptible slowness. This is just priceless, so I have to include how Deleuze characterized this, as explained to in a letter to a translator, Kuniichi Uno, in ‘Letter to Uno: How Félix and I Worked Together’:

“Together, Félix and I would have made a good Sumo wrestler.”

Hahahahahaha! I told you it’s priceless! Actually last night (actually some nights ago by now), I thought of them as a combiner, as a transformer that assemble to form a single bigger machine. I wasn’t too far off with that. His version is just way more hilarious and aptly nonsensical. Anyway, what’s important is that their work is not mere synthesis or, rather, as expressed by Nadaud (20), a consensus. It’s not the triumph of one over the other either, be as it may, as also noted by Nadaud (20-21).

I seem to have strayed from the topic, again, as if I was writing for nobody, as wondered by Guattari (401). You, the reader, my foil, may find the diversions rather arduous, but it’s of little consequence to me as I, to borrow Guattari (399, 401) again, expect you “to figure it out, … to work it through” all this “fucking around.” I was going to write a recap of sorts here, but I don’t think I can do that, or go on further with this, not after that hilarious sumo wrestler anecdote by Deleuze and Guattari’s expressions on how he operates. I feel like I can’t top those. Well, maybe I could, but that’d take some time and this would then take forever to get done. Anyway, this started with, if you didn’t notice it, a certain frustration mixed with amusement about formal qualifications and how some well intended, introduced for the sake of clarity, really, ends up acting up as a major disservice to those who’d just wish to move forward. That’s what being in the zone is all about, but alas no, no, be patient, know your place and what not. All I can do is to be in a hurry to wait, wait and wait, followed by more waiting, just as it was in the army, always in a hurry to wait for others, others who get to decide how long it is that you have to wait after just sweating your … off to accomplish something. To be productive here, as everyone should be, duh, wink wink, obviously, as I’m hung up here, as time goes by … “so slowly for those who wait” (I know! I just couldn’t resist the Madonna reference! It just happened! Very perceptive of her!), do let me know if you think you’d make a great Sumo wrestler together with me.


  • Bourdieu, P. (1983). Ökonomisches Kapital, kulturelles Kapital, soziales Kapital. In R. Kreckel (Ed.), Soziale Ungleichheiten (pp. 183–198). Göttingen, Germany: Schwartz.
  • Bourdieu, P. ([1983] 1986). The Forms of Capital (R. Nice, Trans.). In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (pp. 241–258). Westport, CT: Greenwood.
  • Commission of the European Communities (2005). Commission Recommendation of 11 March 2005 on the European Charter for Researchers and on a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. Brussels, Belgium: Commission of the European Communities.
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