Academics, Cultural Workers and Critical Labour Studies

Rosalind Gill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to locate academics within the sights of critical labour studies, and, in particular, the contemporary interest in cultural workers. Despite a growing literature about - and in response to - the transformation of the University there have been few attempts to study academics as workers. This paper argues that there are a number of parallels between academic work and the much more well-documented experiences of work in the cultural and creative industries. The paper examines the increasing experience of precariousness among academics, the intensification and extensification of work, and the new modes of surveillance in the academy and their affective impacts. The aim of the article is to build on the critical lexicon of studies of cultural labour in order to think about academic work as labour and to generate new ways of thinking about power, privilege and exploitation. It argues for the need for a psychosocial perspective that can understand the new labouring subjectivities in academia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-30
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • academia
  • labour
  • neoliberalism
  • precarity
  • surveillance

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