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Living on the edge? Professional anxieties at work in academia and veterinary practice

Knights, David and Clarke, Caroline (2018). Living on the edge? Professional anxieties at work in academia and veterinary practice. Culture and Organization, 24(2) pp. 134–153.

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Through empirical research on academics and veterinary surgeons, this article focuses on identity and how it is reflected in, and reproduced by, anxiety and insecurity at work. Three analytical themes – perfection, performativity and commodified service – each of which generates anxiety indicates a loss of autonomy as academics and vets are subjected to competitive market forces as well as an intensification of masculine managerial controls of assessment, audit and accountability. We see these pressures and their effects as reflecting a commodification of service provision where the consumer (student or client) begins to redefine the relationship between those offering some expertise and those who are its recipients, partly achieved through the performative gaze of constant and visible rating mechanisms. Our empirical research also identifies sources of anxiety concerns in their attempts to achieve perfection against this background of uncertain knowledge and precarious contexts of the performative nature of professional expertise.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN: 1477-2760
Keywords: Academics; anxiety; commodification; professionals; perfection; vets
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 52682
Depositing User: Caroline Clarke
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 13:37
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 10:56
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