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Title: Gendered academic subjectivities in Cyprus : a psychosocial approach to the affective performances of academic staff and their investments in neoliberal and postfeminist discourses
Author: Atta, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 3277
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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In the fusion of neoliberalism and postfeminism and the anxiety-provoking environment of Higher Education (HE), this thesis explores the masculinities and femininities as they are negotiated by men and women academics in HE in Cyprus. The study uncovers gendered issues that emerge as academics construct new gendered academic subjectivities based on neoliberal and postfeminist discourses. Through a psychosocial lens and a combination of gender theories of the defended psychosocial subject (Hollway and Jefferson, 2013), theory of performativity (Butler, 1999) and theory of affect (Wetherell, 2012), the study explores how academics negotiate neoliberal and postfeminist discourses relating to issues of stress, anxiety and competition and how they respond to these events in the social (academic) sphere as these are shown through their affective performances. A qualitative study has been carried out and fourteen interviews have been conducted with seven men and seven women academics at four institutions (two private and two public) in Cyprus. The findings highlight the implications of New Managerialism, financial stringencies and the diversifying HE context for the construction of gendered academic subjectivities, discussing the emergence of new subjectivities such as self-maximising academics, money generators, entrepreneur and industry academics, individualistic and competitive, fossilized and wanna-be academics, family and career carer academics, hybrid academics etc. These subjectivities emerge as a way for defended academics to deal with the anxiety, pressure and competition caused by the introduction of neoliberal tactics. The study contributes to the area of gender, HE and academic subjectivities as it offers an understanding of gendered academic subjectivities of both men and women exploring how gender, masculinities and femininities may be shifting. Additionally, the study contributes theoretically, as it adopts a psychosocial approach moving beyond an essentialising and binary approach to gender but rather exploring gender focusing on affect and performativity and how academics invest in neoliberal and postfeminist discourses through their performances to construct masculinities and femininities. The findings also yield some interesting implications for future research as well as for policy government makers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available