Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10609/93314
|Accelerated researchers: Psychosocial risks in gendered institutions in academia
|Conesa Carpintero, Ester
González Ramos, Ana M.
|Frontiers in Psychology
|Conesa Carpintero, E., & González Ramos, A. M. (2018). Accelerated researchers: Psychosocial risks in gendered institutions in academia. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(JUL) doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01077
|In recent decades, scientific institutions have undergone significant changes due to new managerialism and the application of excellence in research. This research model has given rise to tensions related to increasing pressures and working demands in a competitive international environment that accelerate the pace of academic life. In addition, precarious working conditions and job insecurity have affected academics' lives and careers. Academic literature has already addressed these organizational changes and their impact on academics, however, few studies have focused on psychosocial risks related to time constraints, meritocratic pressures and career insecurity from a gender perspective. This analysis is relevant given the gendered distribution of responsibilities and the evidence of gender biases in academia that hinder the advancement of gender equality in scientific institutions, as the persistent lack of women at the top of research careers show. In this paper, we explore the psychosocial effects of the new organizational model of science characterized by accelerated time regimes and precarious working conditions from a gender perspective. We draw attention to gender-based discriminatory practices that may yield an accumulative effect on the well-being of women academics. We analyze 36 interviews from women and men researchers from five areas of knowledge in Spanish universities and research centers, following a 'gendered institutions' approach. The results highlight psychosocial risks for both men and women academics as a result of accelerated work organizations, intensified by uncertainty and hyper-competition due to lack of positions. The hegemonic male work model characterized by total availability confirms academia as a gendered institution, especially damaging women's well-being and careers, as well as those of men committed to care responsibilities - challenging motherhood explanations - which may discourage them from the pursuit of gender equality. Our findings highlight discriminatory practices toward women academics which create psychological harm and feelings of being unwelcome, putting their career progression at risk. Lastly, we suggest a different model of work organization following the implementation of a culture based on an 'ethics of care' feminist approach.
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