Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Precarity, gender and care in the neoliberal academy
    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.
      766Scopus© Citations 131
  • Publication
    The Care Ceiling in Higher Education
    This study examines the impact of managerialist policies on care relations in higher education. It is based on a study of ten higher education institutions in Ireland. The paper shows that a care-free worker model is ingrained in systems of performance appraisal, especially for academics in universities, and increasingly in the Institutes of Technology, although it also impacts on support staff in other professions and occupations. It assumes a life of boundary-less working hours and unhindered mobility. The market-informed tools of performance appraisal, especially audits and metrics, cannot measure essential care work because care is a process and disposition, not a product. Because it is not countable it becomes invisible as do the people who do it. The managerial ideology of ‘work–life balance’ merely operates as a mask that conceals how over-working is normalised. There is no legitimate language to name over-working for the structural problem that it is (Misra et al. 2012). When colleges disregard care commitments outside of work, and even within it, these are then repackaged and fed back to women/carers as personal problems and failures. The idealised care-free worker model operates as a care ceiling over women particularly; it is taken as given, even natural.
      380Scopus© Citations 22