Measures of success: cruel optimism and the paradox of academic women's participation in Australian higher education

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper examines the reworking of gender in the measured university and the impact this has on gender equality in academia. Neoliberal market rationalities and measurements embedded in academic publishing, funding and promotion have transformed Australian higher education and impacts upon the careers of academic women in ways that are gendered. Based on a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with female academics, this paper focuses on the performative and discursive decisions women make in regards to their academic careers, and argues that the mainstreaming of gender equity in Australian universities seeks to render gender inequality invisible. It employs cruel optimism' to highlight how our optimistic attachment to gender equity and diversity policies as tools for improving the representation of women may be detrimental to academic women's career progression and the realisation of gender equality in academia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)486-497pp
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development
    Volume36
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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