Gender inequality and precarity in academia in the European context
Exploring Probationary Academic Citizenship in the Swiss Context with Professor Nicky le Feuvre.
In this presentation, we adopt the multi-level definition of academic citizenship (see Sümer, O’Connor, Le Feuvre, 2020), in order to explore the experiences of a particular group of postdocs working in a case-study Swiss university. Although the increasingly precarious employment status of postdocs has attracted considerable research attention in recent years (see, for example, Murgia & Poggio, 2018), little is known about the ‘feelings, experiences, and narratives of being included and excluded, recognized and misrecognized, heard or ignored’ (Roseneil et al., 2012: 5) that members of this transient intellectual labour force develop towards the academic institutions through which they pass in the course of their ‘precarious postdoc’ (Jones & Oakley, 2018) careers. Using biographical interview and focus group data collected in the course of the EU-funded GARCIA project, we adopt the notion of ‘probationary citizenship’, initially developed by migration scholars (Chauvin & Garcés-Mascarenas, 2012), to provide new insights into the contradictory expectations placed on this particular group of early-career academics, and analyse their implications for the gendering of academic citizenship more generally, see http://www.garciaproject.eu/
Nicky Le Feuvre is Full Professor of Sociology and Work at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) in Switzerland, where she is currently Dean of the Faculty of Social & Political sciences. She has researched widely the implications of women’s entry into higher-level occupations, from a cross-national comparative and life-course perspective. She is co-PI of the “Gender, Mobility & Occupations” module of the NCCR LIVES and a founding member of the Centre for Gender Studies. This presentation is based on a chapter entitled ‘Probationary or second-class citizenship? Postdoctoral experiences in the Swiss context’, co-authored with Pierre Bataille and Marie Sautier and published in Sevil Sümer (2020) (ed.) Gendered Academic Citizenship: Experiences and Challenges, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 65-101: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52600-9_3
The seminar will be one hour; Guests are welcome to stay on for networking with colleagues from institutions and research centres involved in this seminar series.
Hosted by the Centre for European & International Studies Research, University of Portsmouth. In collaboration with FRONT.