22 SES 02 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Parallel Paper Session
This paper reports on a project aimed at examining the impact of European and international accountability regimes on academic identity/identities in Ireland. Framed by the Žižekian idea of three ideology types and that academic life may contain irreducible fissures and voids that defy any totalizing descriptions, a number of extended interviews were carried out with academics in four of Ireland’s seven universities. Analysis of the defining tensions in the lives of the academics interviewed reveals the difficult negotiation of their identities in ideology on three levels framed by European policy, subject discipline and institution. These tensions are characterized by a heightened sensitivity and awareness of power relations both within and external to the university and manifest themselves in some cases in variable modes of acceptance and resistance to the use of metrics - actual or anticipated. An inherent disruptive “excess” in the internal dialectic between metric/accountability systems and self expected in the interpretative frame was not [yet!] evident in the lives under consideration. However, the framework adopted is offered as a useful tool that reveals the tensions in academics lives in a new light.
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