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Doing the Ideal Academic

Gender, Excellence and Changing Academia

Rebecca W. B. Lund

Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS 98/2015 This thesis explores how notions of what constitutes good academic work and the valuable academia are changing shaped by capitalism and neoliberalism. Taking the standpoint of junior female scholars that thesis explores how the “ideal academic” is constructed and how gendered social relations organize the everyday embodied practices that make the ideal actionable. The thesis unpacks the gendered social organization of competence and potentiality as it is constructed in and around institutional intentions of becoming “world class”; the textually legitimized and encouraged practice of boasting; and the relationship between quality standards and discourses of love. Each chapter unpacks a layer of how inequality is produced and reproduced in academia through textual coordination of everyday practices. Praise: Professor of Sociology Karin Widerberg, opponent “…The big questions raised in the dissertation, about gender, universities and neoliberalism [are] handled so beautifully and convincingly, [and] will inspire other researchers to pick up the thread. It is a major contribution not only to Gender Studies and Research, but also to Organization theory and to debates on Methodology. It is also one of its kind since there are few if any in depth institutional ethnography on this theme…”    


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