Tomorrow’s a mystery: constructions of the future and ‘un/becoming’ amongst ‘early’ and ‘late’ career academics

Read, B. and Leathwood, C. (2018) Tomorrow’s a mystery: constructions of the future and ‘un/becoming’ amongst ‘early’ and ‘late’ career academics. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 27(4), pp. 333-351. (doi: 10.1080/09620214.2018.1453307)

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Abstract

Constructing a secure sense of a professional future has become increasingly difficult for early career researchers, whilst concerns about present and future job in/security have also been expressed in relation to already-established academics. In this paper, we draw on qualitative data from a U.K. study to explore everyday conceptualisations of the future for both ‘early career’ and ‘late career’ academics, in the context of increased fears and actualities of occupational precarity. We utilise theories of the social construction of time, as well as a conception of precarity and ‘precarization’ utilised by Butler (2009a, 2009b) and Lorey (2015), relating to ‘politically induced’ forms of insecurity that are a direct product of neoliberalism. The research reveals a variety of forms and levels of concern and anxiety by both groups for their own futures, and for the future of the academy as a whole.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B., and Leathwood, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Robert Owen Centre
Journal Name:International Studies in Sociology of Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0962-0214
ISSN (Online):1747-5066
Published Online:05 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in International Studies in Sociology of Education 27(4): 333-351
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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