Advertisement

Cruel Measures: Gendered Excellence in Research

  • Briony LiptonEmail author
Chapter
  • 9 Downloads
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)

Abstract

The transformation of higher education into a (quasi)market, packaged with increased measurement and shifting values, has a significant impact upon the careers of academic women. Increased gender representation obscures the fact that women’s participation continues to be measured and evaluated in relation to male norms, participation, and achievements. This chapter investigates the reworking of gender in the measured university. It analyses gendered excellence, academic promotion, and measures of academic success through Lauren Berlant’s notion of ‘cruel optimism’ in order to consider what is (and is not) valued in the contemporary university, and how career pathways are institutionally shaped.

Keywords

Gendered excellence Merit Cruel optimism Berlant Measure Gender paradox 

References

  1. Acker, J. (1990). Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: A theory of gendered organisations. Gender and Society, 4(2), 139–158. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/189609Google Scholar
  2. Acker, J. (2012). Gendered organizations and intersectionality: problems and possibilities. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 31(3), 214–224.  https://doi.org/10.1108/02610151211209072
  3. Adkins, L., & Lury, C. (Eds.). (2012). Measure and value. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmed, S. (2006). Doing diversity work in higher education in Australia. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 38(6), 745–768.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2006.00228.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ahmed, S. (2012). On being included: Racism and diversity in institutional life. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Alvesson, M., & Billing, Y. D. (1997). Understanding gender and organizations. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Amit, V. (2000). The university as panopticon: Moral claims and attacks on academic freedom. In M. Strathern (Ed.), Audit cultures (pp. 215–234). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Angermuller, J. (2017). Academic careers and the valuation of academics. A discursive perspective on status categories and academic salaries in France as compared to the U.S., Germany and Great Britain. Higher Education, 73, 963–980.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-017-0117-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Archer, L. (2008). Younger academics’ constructions of ‘authenticity’, ‘success’ and professional identity. Studies in Higher Education, 33(4), 385–403.Google Scholar
  10. Australian Research Council. (2018). Selection report: Discovery projects 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.arc.gov.au/grants-and-funding/funding-outcomes/selection-outcome-reports/selection-report-discovery-projects-2018
  11. Bagihole, B., & White, K. (2011). Towards interventions for senior women in higher education. In B. Bagihole & K. White (Eds.), Gender, power and management: A cross cultural analysis of higher education. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  12. Bagihole, B., & White, K. (eds.) (2013). Generation and gender in academia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  13. Bailey, J., Peetz, D., Strachan, G., Whitehouse, G., & Broadbent, K. (2016). Academic pay loadings and gender in Australian universities. Journal of Industrial Relations, 58(5), 647–668. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022185616639308
  14. Baker, M. (2010). Career confidence and gendered expectations of academic promotion. Journal of Sociology, 46(3), 317–334.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783310371402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ball, S. (2015). Living the neoliberal university. European Journal of Education, 50(3), 258–261.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bentley, P. (2011). Gender differences and factors affecting publication productivity among Australian university academics. Journal of Sociology, 48(1), 85–103.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783311411958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bentley, P. J., Coates, H., Dobson, I. R., & Geodegeburre, L. (Eds.). (2013). Job satisfaction around the academic world. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Berlant, L. (2011). Cruel optimism. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Berg L. (2002). Gender equity as ‘boundary object’: Or the same old sex and power in geography all over again? Canadian Geographer, 46(3), 248–254.Google Scholar
  20. Blackmore, J. (2014). Disciplining academic women: Gender restructuring and the labour of research in entrepreneurial universities. In M. Thornton (Ed.), Through a glass darkly: The social sciences look at the neoliberal university. Canberra: Australian National University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Blackmore, J., & Sachs, J. (2007). Performing and reforming leaders: Gender, educational restructuring, and organizational change. Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  22. Burton, C. (1987). Merit and gender: Organisations and the mobilisation of masculine bias. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 22(2), 424–435.Google Scholar
  23. Charteris, J., Gannon, S., Mayes, E., Nye, A., & Stephenson, L. (2016). The emotional knots of academicity: A collective biography of academic subjectivities and spaces. Higher Education Research and Development, 35(1), 31–44.Google Scholar
  24. Cixous, H. (1976). The laugh of the Medusa (K. Cohen & P. Cohen, Trans.). Signs, 1(4), 875–893. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3173239
  25. Cixous, H. (1994). The Hélène Cixous reader (S. Sellers, Ed.). Routledge: London.Google Scholar
  26. Clarke, J. (2008). Living with/in and without neo-liberalism. Focaal-European Journal of Anthropology, 51, 135–147.Google Scholar
  27. Crang, M. (2007). Flexible and fixed times working in the academy. Environment and Planning A, 39(3), 509–514.Google Scholar
  28. Dalton, B. (2011). Assessing achievement relative to opportunity: Evaluating and rewarding academic performance fairly (Discussion paper, Equity and Diversity Centre). Australia: Monash University.Google Scholar
  29. Davies, B., & Petersen, E. B. (2005). Neoliberal discourse in the academy: The forestalling of collective resistance. Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, 2(2), 77–98.  https://doi.org/10.1386/ltss.2.2.77/1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Deem, R., Mok, H. K., & Lucas, L. (2008). Transforming higher education in whose image? Exploring the concept of ‘world-class’ university in Europe and Asia. Higher Education Policy, 21(1), 83–97.  https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.hep.8300179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Dever, M., & Morrison, Z. (2009). Women, research performance and work context. Tertiary Education and Management, 15(1), 49–62.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13583880802700107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Dobele, A., & Rundle-Theile, S. (2015). Progression through academic ranks: A longitudinal examination of internal promotion drivers. Higher Education Quarterly, 69(4), 410–429. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12081
  33. Dobele, A. R., Rundle-Thiele, S., & Kopanidis, F. (2014). The cracked glass ceiling: Equal work but unequal status. Higher Education Research & Development, 33(3), 456–468.Google Scholar
  34. Donald, A. (2011, November 7). Levelling the playing field: Maternity leave, paternity leave and the REF. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/11/07/levelling-the-playing-field/
  35. Eveline, J. (2004). Ivory basement leadership: Power and invisibility in the changing university. Crawley: University of Western Australia Press.Google Scholar
  36. Feteris, S. (2012). The role of women academics in Australian universities. Paper presented at the Australian Institute of Physics Conference, Sydney.Google Scholar
  37. Fitzgerald, T. (2014). Women leaders in higher education: Shattering myths. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Fitzgerald, T., & Wilkinson, J. (2010). Travelling towards a mirage? Gender, leadership and higher education. Mt Gravatt: Post Pressed.Google Scholar
  39. Gatens, M. (1996). Imaginary bodies: Ethics, power and corporeality. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Gill, R. (2010). Breaking the silence: Hidden injuries of the neoliberal university. In R. Ryan-Flood & R. Gill (Eds.), Secrecy and silence in the research process: Feminist reflections. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Grummell, B., Devine, D., & Lynch, K. (2009). The care-less manager: Gender, care and new managerialism in higher education. Gender and Education, 21(2), 191–208.Google Scholar
  42. Harvey, L., & Newton, J. (2004). Transforming quality evaluation. Quality in Higher Education, 10(2), 37–41.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1353832042000230635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hey, V. (2011). Affective asymmetries: Academics, austerity and the mis/recognition of emotion. Contemporary Social Science, 6(2), 207–222.  https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2011.583486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hey, V., & Morley, L. (2011). Imagining the university of the future: Eyes wide open? Expanding the imaginary through critical and feminist ruminations in and on the university. Contemporary Social Science, 6(2), 165–174.  https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2011.580618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Houston, D., Meyer, L., & Paewai, S. (2006). Academic staff workloads and job satisfaction: Expectations and values in academe. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 28(1), 17–30.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13600800500283734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Houston, D., & Paewai, S. (2013). Knowledge, power and meanings shaping quality assurance in higher education: A systemic critique. Quality in Higher Education, 19(3), 261–282.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13538322.2013.849786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hunter, S. (2008). Living documents: A feminist psychosocial approach to the relational politics of policy documents. Critical Social Policy, 28(4), 506–528.Google Scholar
  48. Jenkins, F. (2014). Singing the post-discrimination blues: Notes for a critique of academic meritocracy. In K. Hutchinson & F. Jenkins (Eds.), Women in philosophy: What needs to change? New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Kahn, S. (2012). Gender differences in academic promotion and mobility at a major Australian university. Economic Record, 88(282), 407–424.Google Scholar
  50. Klocker, N., & Drozdzewski, D. (2012). Commentary: Career progress relative to opportunity: how many papers is a baby ‘worth’? Environment And Planning A, 44(6), 1271–1277.Google Scholar
  51. Lafferty, G., & Fleming, J. (2000). The restructuring of academic work in Australia: Power, management and gender. British Journal of Sociology Education, 21(2), 257–267.Google Scholar
  52. Leathwood, C., & Read, B. (2009). Gender and the changing face of higher education: A feminized future? Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Lipton, B. (2015). A new ‘ERA’ of women and leadership: The gendered impact of quality assurance in Australian higher education. Australian Universities Review, 57(2), 60–70. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1073610Google Scholar
  54. Lipton, B., & Mackinlay, E. (2017). We only talk feminist here: Feminist academics, voice and agency in the neoliberal university. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  55. Lorde, A. (1984). Sister outsider: Essays and speeches by Audre Lorde. Freedom: Crossing Press.Google Scholar
  56. Lorenz, C. (2012). If you’re so smart, why are you under surveillance? Universities, neoliberalism, and new public management. Critical Inquiry, 38(3), 599–629.  https://doi.org/10.1086/664553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Luke, C. (1997). Quality assurance and women in higher education. Higher Education, 33(4), 433–451. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3448242Google Scholar
  58. Lynch, K. (2010). Carelessness: A hidden doxa of higher education. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 9(1), 54–67.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022209350104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Macfarlane, B. (2017). The paradox of collaboration: A moral continuum. Higher Education Research & Development: Academic Life in the Measured University. Pleasures, Paradoxes and Politics, 36(3), 472–485.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2017.1288707
  60. Marsh, H., Smith, B., King, M., & Evans, T. (2012). A new era for research education in Australia? Australian Universities’ Review, 54(1), 83–93. Retrieved from http://dro.deakin.edu.au/view/DU:30043049Google Scholar
  61. Morley, L. (1999). Organising feminisms: The micropolitics of the academy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  62. Morley, L. (2003). Quality and power in higher education (The Society for Research into Higher Education). Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Morley, L. (2011). Misogyny posing as measurement: Disrupting the feminisation crisis discourse. Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Science, 6(2), 223–235.  https://doi.org/10.1080/21582041.2011.580615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Morley, L. (2014). Lost leaders: Women in the global academy. Higher Education Research and Development, 33(1), 114–128.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2013.864611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Mountz, A., Bonds, A., Mansfield, B., Loyd, J., Hyndman, J., Walton-Roberts, M., et al. (2015). For slow scholarship: A feminist politics of resistance through collective action in the neoliberal university. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 14(4), 1235–1259.Google Scholar
  66. Naidoo, R. (2003). Repositioning higher education as a global commodity: Opportunities and challenges for future sociology of education work. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(2), 249–259. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3593344Google Scholar
  67. Norton, A., & Cakitaki, B. (2016). Mapping Australian higher education 2016. Grattan Institute.Google Scholar
  68. Peseta, T., Barrie, S., & McLean, J. (2017). Academic life in the measured university: Pleasures, paradoxes and politics. Higher Education Research and Development, 36(3), 453–457.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2017.1293909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pitt, R., & Mewburn, I. (2016). Academic superheroes? A critical analysis of academic job descriptions. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 38(1), 88–101.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2015.1126896cCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Probert, B. (2005). ‘I just couldn’t fit it in’: Gender and unequal outcomes in academic careers. Gender, Work & Organization, 12(1), 50–72.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0432.2005.00262.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Puwar, N. (2004). Space invaders: Race, gender and bodies out of place. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  72. Pyke, J. (2013). Choice and promotion or why women are still a minority in the professoriate. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 35(4), 444–454.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.82179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sarewitz, D. (2016). The pressure to publish pushes down quality. Nature, 533, 147.Google Scholar
  74. Shore, C., & Wright, S. (2000). Coercive accountability: The rise of audit culture in higher education. In Strathern, Marilyn. Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics and the Academy, (pp. 57–89). Routledge.Google Scholar
  75. Shore, C., & Wright, S. (2015). Governing by numbers: Audit culture, rankings and the new world order. Social Anthropology, 23(1), 22–28.Google Scholar
  76. Skeggs, B. (2014). Values beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of capital? The British Journal of Sociology, 65(1), 1–20.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Skolnik, M. L. (2010). Quality assurance in higher education as a political process. Higher Education Management and Policy, 22(1), 1–20.Google Scholar
  78. Smith, K., Else, F., & Crookes, P. A. (2014). Engagement and academic promotion: A review of the literature. Higher Education Research & Development, 33(4), 836–847.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2013.863849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Smyth, J. (2017). The toxic university: Zombie leadership, academic rock stars and neoliberal ideology. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  80. Thornton, M. (2013). The mirage of merit: Reconstituting the ‘ideal academic’. Australian Feminist Studies, 28(76), 127–143.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0816469.2013.789584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Thornton, M. (Ed.). (2014). Through a glass darkly: The social sciences look at the neoliberal university. Canberra: ANU Press.Google Scholar
  82. van den Brink, M., Benschop, Y., & Jansen, W. (2010). Transparency in academic recruitment: A problematic tool for gender equality? Organization Studies, 31(11), 1459–1483.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840610380812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Verran, H. (2010). Number as an inventive frontier in knowing and working Australia’s water resources. Anthropological Theory, 10(1–2), 171–178.Google Scholar
  84. Vu, C. J., & Doughney, J. (2007). Unequal outcomes for women academics in Australian universities: Reflections on Belinda Probert’s ‘I just couldn’t fit it in’. Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics, 2(4), 55–65.Google Scholar
  85. Walkerdine, V. (1988). The mastery of reason: Cognitive development and the production of rationality. Routledge.Google Scholar
  86. White, J. (2010). Authoring the self: Scholarly identity in performative times. Creative Approaches to Research, 3(1), 1–2.  https://doi.org/10.3316/CAR0301001
  87. White, K., Carvalho, T., & Riordan, S. (2011). Gender, power and managerialism in universities. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 33(2), 179–188.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2011.559631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wilson, R. (2012). Scholarly publishing’s gender gap: Women cluster in certain fields, according to a study of millions of journal articles, while men get more credit. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/The-Hard-Numbers-Behind/135236/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en
  89. Winchester, H., Lorenzo, S., Browning, L., & Chesterman, C. (2006). Academic women’s promotions in Australian universities. Employee Relations, 28(6), 505–522.  https://doi.org/10.1108/01425450610704461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Wrenn, M. V. (2015). Agency and neoliberalism. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 39(5), 1231–1243.  https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/beu047CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations