Winter is coming? Academic identity transitions for a digitized and precarious landscape.

Collins, Hilary; Jones Myers, Fran and Glover, Hayley (2019). Winter is coming? Academic identity transitions for a digitized and precarious landscape. In: European Group for Organisational Studies: Sub Theme 15: 'Faking it: Identity Work in an age of exclusion.

Abstract

This paper considers academic identity and sensemaking at the nexus of New Public Management within the digital education arena to understand what it means to teach in this neoliberalised context. Precarity of HE lecturers with fixed and short-term contracts is an increasingly dominant factor internationally, driving uncertainties. Disruptive developments of digitally innovative paradigms accompany and further enable parallel growths of managerialism, metrics and accountability. The impact of such measures provokes sensemaking activities and resultant ‘sticky’ behaviour from digital teachers in order to manage feelings of insecurity.
Our research design uses photographic ethnography and in-depth interviewing to gain insight into micro routines, identity legitimations and practices of participants. This paper then focusses on the impact of these transitions considering how implementation is being experienced by teaching lecturers. We explore teaching cultures within UK and UAE teaching institutions at different points on the continuum of digitisation, finding discourses of alienation and liminality.

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