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Making a mess of academic work: experience, purpose and identity

Malcolm, J. and Zukas, Miriam (2009) Making a mess of academic work: experience, purpose and identity. Teaching in Higher Education 14 (5), pp. 495-506. ISSN 1356-2517.


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Within the policy discourse of academic work, teaching, research and administration are seen as discrete elements of practice. We explore the assumptions evident in this 'official story' and contrast it with the messy experience of academic work, drawing upon empirical studies and conceptualisations from our own research and from recent literature. We propose that purposive disciplinary practice across time and space is inextricably entangled with and fundamental to academic experience and identity; the fabrications of managerialism, such as the workload allocation form, fragment this experience and attempt to reclassify purposes and conceptualisations of academic work. Using actor-network theory as an analytical tool, we explore the gap between official and unofficial stories, attempting to reframe the relationship between discipline and its various manifestations in academic practice and suggesting a research agenda for investigating academic work.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): academic work, discipline, actor-network theory, managerialism
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > SSHP Administration
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010 12:10
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33

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