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Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Labouring Academia: Higher Education Never-Ending Youth and Geriatric Pregnancy Issues

TitleLabouring Academia: Higher Education Never-Ending Youth and Geriatric Pregnancy Issues
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsRusso C, Minello A
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published07/2021
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsacademic precariat, fertility decisions, narrative methods, self-perceived age

This article aims to investigate, through a qualitative study, the phenomenon of precarization in higher education from two specific perspectives: gender and age. It sheds a light on how academic precariat affects female researchers’ fertility decisions. Indeed, we maintain, the increasing length of the early stages of academic careers, and the job insecurity that comes together with it, have gendered consequences on the perceived possibility to have a child. By analyzing fifteen virtual in-depth interviews and by using narrative methods to produce a comprehensive case study material, we argue that, in the discourse on academic precariat, those consequences tend to be disguised through the conventional use of labels like ‘young researchers’, ‘young resources’. We embrace the thesis that ‘youth’ is not only a way to define a certain age class but it could also be an ‘academic construct’ (Bozzon, Murgia & Poggio, 2019). The results of our research suggest that those types of label tend to act upon the people who are labelled, as process of subjectivation, influencing the perception of both self and fertility decisions.