Precarity, gender and care in the neoliberal academy

Ivancheva, Mariya and Lynch, Kathleen and Keating, Kathryn (2019) Precarity, gender and care in the neoliberal academy. Gender, Work & Organization, 26 (4). pp. 448-462.

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    Abstract

    This article examines the rise in precarious academic employment in Ireland as an outcome of the higher education restructuring following OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), government initiatives and post-crisis austerity. Presenting the narratives of academic women at different career stages, we claim that a focus on care sheds new light on the debate on precarity. A more complete understanding of precarity should take account not only of the contractual security but also affective relational security in the lives of employees. The intersectionality of paid work and care work lives was a dominant theme in our interviews among academic women. In a globalized academic market, premised on the care-free masculinized ideals of competitive performance, 24/7 work and geographical mobility, women who opt out of these norms, suffer labour-led contractual precarity and are over-represented in part-time and fixed-term positions. Women who comply with these organizational commands need to peripheralize their relational lives and experience care-led affective precarity.

    ORCID iDs

    Ivancheva, Mariya ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4066-4074, Lynch, Kathleen and Keating, Kathryn;