Academics' perceptions of what it means to be an academic

Rosewell, K. and Ashwin, P. (2018) Academics' perceptions of what it means to be an academic. Studies in Higher Education. ISSN 0307-5079

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Despite the wealth of literature on academic work, roles and identities, the meaning of being an academic often does not go beyond such pre-defined and separate roles of teacher, researcher, academic, professional and manager. Consequently, our understanding of academic work is limited. This article explores the holistic meaning of being an academic and considers how this relates to gender. Based on interviews with 35 academics from a single United Kingdom (UK) institution, we argue that what it means to be an academic, goes beyond these pre-defined and separate roles; and that other aspects, such as academic freedom, intellectual stimulation, and a sense of a calling play different roles in different constructions of being an academic. Gender is also found to be an important factor in the different ways of defining academic work. These findings have implications for our understanding of career trajectories of male and female academics.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Studies in Higher Education
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Higher Education on 24/07/2018, available online:
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Deposited On:
06 Nov 2018 11:14
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2022 00:56