Being and Becoming an Academic
in the Neoliberal University
Dr Eimear Enright
University of Queensland, Australia
Abstract: As early career academics (ECAs) functioning in and critical of a market-driven system of higher education, Enright and colleagues were keen to understand if, and how, their peers were surviving or thriving in their neoliberal universities. Enright and her colleagues draw on the narratives of 30 ECAs to gain insight into the joys, challenges and ambitions they associate with being and becoming academics. Their findings suggest that many ECAs are experiencing crises of habitus as they work to suppress ethical dispositions and values and adjust to the rules they are increasingly expected them to play by. They contend that it is together and in dialogue that academics can work to build and sustain modest, practical morals and protect and enable reflexive, collegial and ethical dispositions.
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