Affective asymmetries: academics, austerity and the mis/recognition of emotion

Hey, Valerie (2011) Affective asymmetries: academics, austerity and the mis/recognition of emotion. Contemporary Social Science:Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, 6 (2). pp. 207-222. ISSN 2158-2041

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (146kB)


The ensuing paper is about the affective dimensions of the university. It seeks to argue that in the field of higher education/studies it would be productive to shift our centre of intellectual gravity away from desiccated top-down descriptions of policy to consider those who work and study there. In short how the academy is produced by those who practice in it. This refocus is timely since I argue that the dynamics of the restructuring Academy (like many such workplaces) are likely to drive and fortify a routine psychosocial transaction one in which men in power 'decide' and women (and junior males) in subordinate positions, 'manage', what in the downturn are likely to be deleterious professional and personal consequences. It is women who will find themselves positioned as absorbing/coping/dealing with their own and others' resultant stress/distress created by the overloading and intensification of work. They will feel the strain more and be made to feel the strain more. This paper is not straightforwardly empirical but neither can it be placed in the category of pure abstraction. I consider it instead as a proxy or fuzzy 'self-ethnography' devised from: empirical facts; research literature; my sociological imagination and lived, as well as observed, experience. The latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that only 14 per cent of university vice-chancellors are women, and only 19 per cent of professors are women. Occupational segregation also means that the representation of women is even lower in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) departments, with just 16 per cent of professors being women, and significantly fewer in computer science and engineering. So it would seem there is a lot to experience in relation to the gendering of the Academy.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Valerie Hey
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:01
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 05:13

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update