How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings

Brankovic J, Ringel L, Werron T (2018)
Zeitschrift für Soziologie 47(4): 270–288.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
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Abstract / Bemerkung
It is often assumed that rankings produce or intensify competition, while the way they do this remains largely obscure. We address this problem by analyzing global university rankings. Drawing from a sociological understanding of competition, we propose a concept of rankings as a social operation that combines four elements: comparison of performances, quantification, visualization and publication. We then develop an explanation of how rankings construct competition between universities, highlighting the following three effects thereof: (a) globalization of a specific discourse on university excellence; (b) “scarcification” of reputation for excellence; and (c) regular publication of findings, effectively transforming a stable status order into a dynamic competitive field. In this process, competition for status is being converted from something implicit and inherently local into something explicit and globally acknowledged. We conclude by discussing general conceptual implications of this analysis for the study of the construction and societal impact of competition.
Stichworte
competition; rankings; universities; globalization; global fields
Erscheinungsjahr
2018
Zeitschriftentitel
Zeitschrift für Soziologie
Band
47
Ausgabe
4
Seite(n)
270–288
ISSN
0340-1804
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2931220

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Brankovic J, Ringel L, Werron T. How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings. Zeitschrift für Soziologie. 2018;47(4):270–288.
Brankovic, J., Ringel, L., & Werron, T. (2018). How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 47(4), 270–288. doi:10.1515/zfsoz-2018-0118
Brankovic, J., Ringel, L., and Werron, T. (2018). How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 47, 270–288.
Brankovic, J., Ringel, L., & Werron, T., 2018. How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 47(4), p 270–288.
J. Brankovic, L. Ringel, and T. Werron, “How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings”, Zeitschrift für Soziologie, vol. 47, 2018, pp. 270–288.
Brankovic, J., Ringel, L., Werron, T.: How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings. Zeitschrift für Soziologie. 47, 270–288 (2018).
Brankovic, Jelena, Ringel, Leopold, and Werron, Tobias. “How rankings produce competition. The case of global university rankings”. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 47.4 (2018): 270–288.