Academia as an Honour/Shame society


The Patrologist

It’s blindingly obvious that Academia runs as a microcosmic honour/shame society because the one thing that ranks just below actual scholarship in scholars’ concern is prestige or honour as accorded them by their peers.

This is what drives almost all academic endeavours (beyond the actual desire to study): conference papers, journal and monograph publishing, etc..

Every act of publishing is an attempt to gain the symbolic capital of prestige among academic peers, via an act of heroism, which is the public display of scholarly prowess.

In conference format, this is open to ‘counter-claims’, where others offer criticism, questions, push-back which can provide the initiator with further opportunities to demonstrate prowess and thus increase their prestige. Alternatively, failure to respond well to interaction will render their attempt to gain honour into a shameful dismantling of their scholarly prowess, and so a loss of honour, with some corresponding gain in prestige to…

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