Gender, Time, and ‘Waiting’ in Everyday Academic Life

  • Barbara Read
  • Lisa Bradley
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


Sociology has a long-standing interest in analyzing the seemingly inconsequential, mundane acts of everyday life, in order to explore the ways in which the everyday can illuminate wider social and political dynamics and relations (see, e.g., Goffman, The presentation of self in everyday life. London: Penguin, 1959; and more recently Scott, Making sense of everyday life. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009). In this chapter we continue this tradition by exploring instances of waiting in everyday academic life, the ways these instances are discursively constructed and experienced, and the emotions they generate. In doing so we will be using experimental autoethnographies (Bradley, In and of an urban time: (Re)imagining the (im)possible limits of time, knowledge and the city. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow, 2015) to explore our own experiences of waiting in our ‘academic’ lives over the course of a single week. The methods we will be using will be the photographing of images over a course of a week which will be intended to construct ‘talking points’ relating to our experiences of waiting, which we will then discuss with each other in a ‘co-interview’, loosely structured around the images. Our experience of academia is of course subjectively related both to our own social positionings—for example, in terms of gender, class, ethnicity, age—and also to our material positionings, for example, the ‘reality’ of our occupational and contract status and wider caring/family responsibilities. We will thus be reflecting on the complex ways in which such positionings shape our experiences of ‘waiting’ and the ways in particular conceptions of time and the temporal influence the ways in which we perform the ‘academic’ in our everyday working lives.



The authors would like to thank the editors for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Read
    • 1
  • Lisa Bradley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowScotland

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