You just have to learn to play the game: Regret, resentment, resignation and responsibility in narratives of academic precarity
Info about event
Time: November 25th, 2021, at 15.00-16.00 Central European Time (CET)
Place: A Zoom-link will be shared with the participants closer to the event
Register before: 23.11.2021
Dr Charlotte Morris is Lecturer in Education and Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. She specializes in Gender Studies and research interests relate to gendered lives across the domains of work, care, intimacy and education. She, along with Dr Lotta Snickare, leads the Gender and precarity in academia working group for the European Universities Critical Futures project.
Chair: Professor Susan Wright, Co-Director of CHEF, Aarhus University, Denmark
This paper draws on narrative interviews with temporarily employed UK women academics. Recognising that individual narratives reflect wider cultural norms and power relations, these illuminate ways in which casualisation is being normalised and justified in this neoliberal context. Casualisation of academic work continues to accelerate, disproportionately affecting women, Black and ethnic minority staff; job insecurity can have catastrophic personal, affective, health, financial and career consequences, undermining wider equity goals. However, for some participants poor lived experiences and delayed career progression were linked to personal choices, reflecting individual responsibilisation which characterizes the neoliberal era. They also reflect dominant ideas about linear career paths which can negate lived, gendered, racialized, ableised, classed, caring experiences, revealing some of the overarching myths which allow such working conditions to continue. Such narratives can obscure the deliberate adoption of specific business models which comprise lack of investment in staff, creating exploitative situations and exclusionary practices across the sector which in interplay with ongoing structural inequities with detrimental effects on individuals and institutions. This paper argues for continued resistance, suggesting that the implications of pursuing this path mean that only the most privileged will be able to take the risks of pursuing a career in academia.