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Academic trends around the world: American theory and philosophy - British academia (Cultural Studies, CCCS)- Italian academia (Umberto Eco) - German academia (Critical Theory, Frankfurt school, Kant) - French academia - (Postmodernism)


Academia is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and research, taken as a whole. The word comes from the akademeia just outside ancient Athens, where the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning. The sacred space had formerly been an olive grove, hence the expression "the groves of Academe". By extension Academia has come to connote the cultural accumulation of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters. In the 17th century, English and French religious scholars popularized the term to describe certain types of institutions of higher learning. The English adopted the form academy while the French adopted the forms academe and academie.

An academic is a person who works as a researcher (and usually teacher) at a university or similar institution. In the United States, the term is approximately synonymous with professor. In the United Kingdom, various titles are used, typically fellow, lecturer, reader and professor (see also academic rank), though the loose term don is often popularly substituted. In other parts of the world, the term scholar is probably closer. Academic administrators are not typically included in this use of the term.

Some sociologists have divided, but not limited, academia into four basic historical types: ancient academia, early academia, academic societies and the modern university. There are at least two models of academia: a European model developed since ancient times, as well as an American model developed by Benjamin Franklin in the mid-18th century and Thomas Jefferson in the early 19th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academia [Jan 2006]

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