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ERIC Number: EJ792448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 65
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
The New Neoliberal Subjects? Young/er Academics' Constructions of Professional Identity
Archer, Louise
Journal of Education Policy, v23 n3 p265-285 May 2008
There is a growing literature discussing the experiences and identities of academics working within the "new times" of contemporary academia. Critiques have been levied at the impact of neoliberalism on the nature, organisation and purpose of higher education (HE), highlighting the negative consequences for "traditional" academic identities and practices, and calls have been made for further investigation of the "lived" experiences of academic workers. Most studies to date have focused on "older" (mature) academics and their responses to the new performativity. But what about the "new" generation of academics who have only experienced the current HE context and climate? This article focuses on the identities and experiences of "younger" UK academic staff--notably, those aged 35 and under who grew up during the 1980s (so-called Thatcher's children). It discusses their constructions of academic identities and questions whether they are the archetypal new subjects of audit and managerialism whose capacity for criticality is forestalled--or whether they carve out spaces for thinking otherwise? Attention is drawn to the ways in which these younger academics negotiate the pressures of contemporary academia, detailing their strategies of resistance and practices of protection. The article concludes by reflecting on whether it is possible (or not), to "do" without "being" an academic neoliberal subject. (Contains 1 table and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A