The sense of meaninglessness in bureaucratized science

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A new paper – co-authored by Prof. Mariusz Finkielsztein and Prof. Izabela Wagner from the Institute of Sociology, Collegium Civitas – has just been published in Social Studies of Science, an academic journal from the prestigious American publishing house SAGE Publishing.

The paper titled “The sense of meaninglessness in bureaucratized science” focuses on the perception of meaning deficit or meaning conflict in particular situations related to bureaucratization that can be associated with frustration, irritation, and/or boredom.

The authors claim that the sense of meaninglessness is more likely to emerge in those activities that are further from an individual’s core identity. The other claim is that processes of rationalization imposed by external agendas, particularly transitions from substantive to formal rationality (predictability, control and calculability, efficiency) contribute to the proliferation of meaninglessness in academia.

According to the authors, the sense of meaninglessness is, therefore, ignited by the external forces colonizing academic life and constitutes an instance of the ‘irrationality of rationality’. It is an outcome or side effect of the collision between two incompatible logics of practice: bureaucratic and scientific.

The sense of meaninglessness in bureaucratized science