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Gendered recognition practices and the perpetuation of vulnerability: A study in Swedish universities
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Organization and management.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Organization and management.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Organization and management.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4663-9913
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Organization and management.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5479-2563
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2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In current critical research on work life in the higher education sector, analyses often revolve around neoliberal managerialism as contrasted to traditional professional academic values (cf. Henkel, 1997; Deem, 2004; Ekman et al, 2017). Academics are both faced with expectations to uphold the integrity of academic values in their research and teaching, whilst at the same time performing and ’careering’ in accordance with managerialist reforms (Clarke & Knights, 2015).

Knights & Clarke (2014) analyse insecurity as a central aspect of identity in academics, conceptualizing academic life as a ‘bittersweet symphony’ populated by imposters (self- doubt and low self-esteem despite adequate performance), aspirants (under-recognised in relation to their inner sense of excellence) and existentialists (questioning the meaning of work and maintaining a sense of anxiety over their contributions to wider society). Another example is provided by Bristow et al (2017) who identify how early career-academics within CMS play on three narratives – diplomatic, combative and idealistic – by which they both resist and reproduce the ethos of business school neoliberalism in which they are embedded. Academics’ identity construction thus in different ways tend to position them as vulnerable selves (Cicmil et al, 2016), that is, as existentially exposed to the risks associated with projectified careers, macho-style management and a high degree of self-responsibility (Loveday, 2018).

In addition, a number of earlier studies has also pointed out the highly gendered nature of how academic work is organized, how recruitment and promotion processes unfold etc. (cf. (cf. Hush, 2001; Mählck, 2003; van den Brink & Benschop, 2012).

In this study we will focus on recognition practices (how recognition repeatedly tend to happen or not happen in local/cultural contexts, and thus also become the expectation on what may happen in future interactions) and their consequences for identity construction

1

and sense of vulnerability thus seem central to advance the above insights. Recognition practices thus involve not only what and whom is recognized or not for something, but also in what settings certain practices are legitimate or not, and how they are publicly displayed in social interaction.

We suggest that

  • recognition practices are an important yet under-researched aspect of academic

    identity construction processes

  • recognition practices are gendered, i.e. we perform gender in our ways of

    - conferring and receiving recognition,- constructing what recognition may mean in different local/cultural contexts, - constructing when it is to be conferred/received or not,- constructing how it is appropriately played out how in social interaction.

  • recognition practices tend to sustain vulnerability among academics, but in different ways for men and women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sydney: Maquarie University , 2018.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies; Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-230662OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-230662DiVA, id: diva2:1218038
Conference
10th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference on Gender, Work and Organisation
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Note

QC 20180614

Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-08-29Bibliographically approved

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