The ‘academic career’ in the era of flexploitation
To move into a management role in the Taylorised university is then, to some extent, to burn collegial bridges: the managerial career is incompatible with many aspects of the scholarly vocation. This chapter examines the structural and political causes of the precarization of the academic labour force with particular reference to Australia, where university participation rates have increased spectacularly over the last fifteen years, but where the numbers of staff in secure employment have failed to keep pace with the growth in student numbers. In many ways the rhythms of the new academic career mirror the larger trends of late modernity, towards individualization and social fragmentation, as university managers encourage academics to embrace a mindset of restlessness rather than of calm stability. The chapter also presents a case study of Di who has worked as a casual tutor in her faculty since joining it as a PhD student and Marian who was born in Australian in a working-class area.