ERG SES G 07, Gender and Education
Since the 1980s and 1990s higher education policies in the United Kingdom have been shaped by new public management, consequently, university management has aligned with new managerial regimes emphasising performativity and accountability. While there is a substantial body of literature that explores how new managerial regimes have reshaped the academic work and academic identities (e.g. Deem, Reed, and Hillyard, 2007; Henkel, 2005) this paper focuses on academic practices and the careers of academic women. Thus, the research question this paper stresses is; how are the careers of academic women in a business school constructed and maintained under condition of new managerialism.
The rationale for this research is that as diverse ideological and political missions have reframed academic practices (Fanghanel, 2012: 3); consequently, this has led changes in what Morley (2000) calls ‘the micropolitics of gender in the learning society’. The existing research indicates that the exclusion and inclusion of women from ‘the academy can be achieved through several distinct mechanisms’ (Le Feuvre, 2009: 20). The way that gender is ‘done’ in certain fields or how disciplines align with masculine representations have excluded women in some cases (Powell, Bagilhole, and Dainty, 2009; Fotaki, 2013). In addition to ‘doing gender’ and gender representations, there are indications that institutional practices affect women and men differently; especially as intentional gender practices tend to be overridden by unreflexive gender practices that favour men over women (Baker, 2009; van den Brink, 2010).
In this research, the theoretical framework draws on practice theory. Consequently, business schools are perceived as fields of practices in which different sets of seeing, doing and saying, in other words practices, shape subjects and objects and furthermore mobilize knowledge research (Gherardi, 2006: xiii-xiv). Taking a critical stand, it is explored ‘how practitioners do what they do and what doing does’ (Gherardi, 2009: 124). In other words, how academic and managerial practices are done by academic women working in a research intensive business school and what this doing has done to women who are trying to build their academic careers under condition of new managerialism.
Baker, M. (2009) 'Gender, Academia and the Managerial University' New Zealand Sociology, 24 (1) pp. 24-48. Deem, R., Reed, M. & S. Hillyard (2007) Knowledge, Higher Education, and the New Managerialism: The Changing Management of UK Universities, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fanghanel, J. (2012) Being an Academic: the Realities of Practice in a Changing World, New York: Routledge. Fotaki, M. (2013) 'No Woman Is Like a Man (in Academia): The Masculine Symbolic Order and the Unwanted Female Body' Organization Studies, 34 (9) pp. 1251-1275. Henkel, M. (2005) ‘Academic Identity and Autonomy in a Changing Policy Environment’ Higher Education 49 (1-2) pp. 155-176. Gherardi, S. (2009) 'Introduction: The Critical Power of the `Practice Lens'' Management Learning, 40 (2) pp. 115-128. Gherardi, S. (2006) Organizational Knowledge: The Texture of Workplace Learning, Malden: Blackwell Publishing. Morley, L. (2000) 'The Micropolitics of Gender in the Learning Society' Higher Education in Europe, 25 (2) pp. 229-235. Le Feuvre, N. (2009) 'Exploring Women's Academic Careers in Cross-National Perspective: Lessons for Equal Opportunity Policies' Equal Opportunities International, 28 (1) pp. 9-23. Powell, A., B. Bagilhole & A. Dainty (2009) 'How Women Engineers Do and Undo Gender: Consequences for Gender Equality' Gender, Work & Organization, 16 (4) pp. 411-428. van den Brink, M. (2010) Behind the Scenes of Science: Gender Practices in the Recruitment and Selection of Professors in the Netherlands, Amsterdam: Pallas Publications.
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