Un/making academia: Gendered precarities and personal lives in universities

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent scholarship on universities explores how academics’ families and partners restrict their careers and how academic labour limits these relationships, both in highly gendered ways. Such research less often considers how people’s close relations might unevenly support them in continuously relocating; dedicating unpaid time to ‘career development’; or taking on or influencing them to remain in short-term, poorly paid precarious roles. This paper explores precariously employed post-PhDs in Australia, investigating their gendered careers and personal lives. Drawing on interviews at three public universities, it shows how women with children and partners in particular raise concerns over how their relationships and work interact. Here, certain kinds of workers – men and single women, unencumbered by family responsibilities and restrictions on travel, and with access to financial resources – appear better able to navigate moves to more secure work. This paper argues that support from close relations is productive and restrictive for precarious academics’ careers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-279
Number of pages18
JournalGender and Education
Issue number3
Early online date24 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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