The Phenomenon of Inequality: Challenges for University Education

Interview with Michael Burawoy, the president of International Sociological Association (ISA)

  • Sergiy Kurbatov
  • Michael Burawoy
Keywords: inequality, precariat, university, privatization, commercialization, corporation, commodification, rationalization, university rankings


In his exclusive interview to our journal the president of International Sociological Association (ISA 2010–2014), Professor of the Department of Sociology at University of California, Berkeley Michael Burawoy describes preparation work for the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology “Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology”, which was conducted on July,13–19, 2014 at Yokohama, Japan and explains, why the term “inequality” became the key for the title of this important sociological forum. Professor Burawoy also analyses the main tendencies of the development of contemporary university education. He stresses the fact of commercialization of higher education and articulates two strategies of surviving of universities in current situation. The institutional transformations of the university during last decades as far as the process of forming precariat among academic staff are also observed. Theoretical statements are illustrated by the facts from the history of University of California, Berkeley and interpretations of theoretical heritage of one of its founders Clark Kerr (1911–2003).

Author Biographies

Sergiy Kurbatov

PhD, Head of Department of Leadership and Institutional Development, Institute of Higher Education, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine and affiliated researcher, Centre for Russian and Eurasian
Studies, University of Uppsala (Sweden).

Michael Burawoy

the president of International Sociological Association (ISA 2010–2014), Professor of the Department of Sociology at University of California, Berkeley.
Personal Website of Michael Burawoy —

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How to Cite
Kurbatov, S., & Burawoy, M. (2014). The Phenomenon of Inequality: Challenges for University Education. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 15(2). Retrieved from


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