Women academics and work–life balance: gendered discourses of work and care

Toffoletti, Kim and Starr, Karen 2016, Women academics and work–life balance: gendered discourses of work and care, Gender, work and organization, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 489-504, doi: 10.1111/gwao.12133.

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Title Women academics and work–life balance: gendered discourses of work and care
Author(s) Toffoletti, KimORCID iD for Toffoletti, Kim orcid.org/0000-0002-5672-9090
Starr, KarenORCID iD for Starr, Karen orcid.org/0000-0003-3931-0180
Journal name Gender, work and organization
Volume number 23
Issue number 5
Start page 489
End page 504
Total pages 16
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2016-09-05
ISSN 1468-0432
Keyword(s) work–life balance
work/care regimes
Summary This article examines how discourses of work–life balance are appropriated and used by women academics. Using data collected from semi-structured, single person interviews with 31 scholars at an Australian university, it identifies and explores four ways in which participants construct their relationship to work–life balance as: (1) a personal management task; (2) an impossible ideal; (3) detrimental to their careers; and (4) unmentionable at work. Findings reveal that female academics’ ways of speaking about work–life balance respond to gendered attitudes about paid work and unpaid care that predominate in Australian socio-cultural life. By taking a discursive approach to analysing work–life balance, our research makes a unique contribution to the literature by drawing attention to the power of work–life balance discourses in shaping how women configure their attempts to create a work–life balance, and how it functions to position academic women as failing to manage this balance.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/gwao.12133
Field of Research 160809 Sociology of Education
Socio Economic Objective 940113 Gender and Sexualities
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2016, John Wiley & Sons
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085007

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