Building and Mobilizing Social Capital: A Phenomenological Study of Part-Time Pofessors

Title: Building and Mobilizing Social Capital: A Phenomenological Study of Part-Time Pofessors
Authors: Sarah, Jamieson
Date: 2016
Abstract: Social connections are the main determinant of a person’s quality and quantity of resources. A person uses social connections to access or use resources; the stronger and more extensive the social network, the greater the resources (i.e. social capital). Connections in social networks allow us to access and use social capital to achieve instrumental or expressive goals. Conversely, a lack of connection is central to many challenges in building social capital. Therefore, social connection is a beneficial concept to examine for those at risk of inadequate social capital. This research explores the experiences of part-time professors and their peer connections at the University of Ottawa. It discusses whether a lack of connection exists and how it may affect the social capital of part-time professors. Twelve part-time faculty members were purposively sampled and interviewed about their experience of being a part-time teacher at the University. One participant asked to be removed from the study. Participants were chosen on the basis that they had worked as a part-time teacher at the institution for five years or fewer. Using Moustakas’ (1994) phenomenological approach for collecting and analyzing data and Creswell’s (2007) approach for establishing validity, several thematic patterns were exhibited among part-time professors in relation to social capital and the barriers that they face. In conclusion, inadequate social capital among part-time professors may have problematic implications for students, the department, and the University as a whole.
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