Episode 10: Academic Territories: How They Help Us To Understand Subject Areas of Knowledge, and Why We’re No Longer Talking About Tribes

In this episode, Tracy and Alex discuss an influential theory about ‘Academic Tribes and Territories’that is used as a metaphor to understand how subject areas and the people who study and research them are successful.

Do you think ‘tribe’ is an appropriate word? In many ways it covers knowledge, behaviour, resources, languages and hierarchies within a group. But in other ways it conjures an impression of exotic, foreign, and primitive. Do we talk about the ‘sophisticated’ cultures that the west has claimed ownership of - the Greeks and Romans - as tribes? 

Why is this useful for people who study or teach in universities? Listen to this episode and find out how you spot which types of language, methodology, knowledge, hierarchies and more, that will help you be successful in this subject. You can use these insights to become more persuasive, by essentially, speaking to them in their own language.



Becher, T., & Trowler, P. (2001). Academic tribes and territories. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Google Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1kEZcxkdjon18Z9BWnDOIQ59U_GKpATrQ/view


Podcast hosts: Drs. Alex Patel & Tracy Dix

Production team: Patricia Mari Solis & Kia Morant

Music: Powerful rhythmic metal by Defekt Maschine on Pixabay


Follow us for more tips and musings:



Tik Tok

or sign up to our mailing list for exclusive content!

As always, we’d love to hear what resonates most with you in this episode (#10) so reply or DM us on social media to let us know. If you enjoy the podcast, please share, and leave us a 5*review so we can make it better and reach more students. If you don't like it, well, you know, there are lots of other podcasts out there...