Negotiating motherhood in the academy: the maternal subjectivities of feminist academics in austere times

Osgood, Jayne ORCID: and Bhopal, Kalwant (2013) Negotiating motherhood in the academy: the maternal subjectivities of feminist academics in austere times. In: Gender and Education Association Biennial Conference: Compelling Diversities, Educational Intersections: Policy, Practice, Parity, 23-26 Apr 2013, London Southbank University, United Kingdom. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


The current socio-political climate, with its ever intense pressures for performative ‘excellence’, raises questions for feminist academics working in HE, particularly as the space and place for matters ‘maternal' become increasingly complex. A decade ago, Raddon (2002) identified the discursive positioning of academic mothers to explore and expose the various tensions between the independent, aggressive nature of academic work and the dependent, caring nature of mothering. With the supposed ‘feminisation of Higher Education’ (Leathwood & Read, 2011) and the associated increase in female students and academics, this paper questions the compatibility of motherhood and academia for feminist academics of childbearing age. The small-scale study from which this paper is drawn focuses specifically on the narratives of feminist academics working in the academy, some of whom undertake research into various aspects of childhood, family life and parenting. It explores and debates the lived psychosocial contradictions, tensions and ambiguities for academic mothers of endeavouring to apply feminist politics (at home, through their research, and within the academy). The paper attends to motherhood subjectivities as gendered, classed and ‘raced’ to explore the competing demands of the contemporary academy and implications for the career trajectories of feminist academics.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 17943
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Depositing User: Kristina Repova
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2015 14:15
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 11:43

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