Gender in the neoliberalised global academy: the affective economy of women and leadership in South Asia

Morley, Louise and Crossouard, Barbara (2016) Gender in the neoliberalised global academy: the affective economy of women and leadership in South Asia. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37 (1). pp. 149-168. ISSN 0142-5692

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Abstract

As higher education (HE) institutions globally become increasingly performative, competitive and corporatised in response to neoliberal rationalities, the exigencies of HE leadership are being realigned to accommodate its value system. This article draws on recent British Council-funded research, including 30 semi-structured interviews, to explore women’s engagement with leadership in HE in South Asia. A potent affective economy was discovered. Leadership was associated with affects such as competitiveness, aggression, impropriety, stress and anxiety, in ways that were intensified by highly patriarchal and corporatised HE cultures. Indeed, its difficulties and toxicities meant that leadership was rejected or resisted as an object of desire by many women. We illuminate how different forms of competition contribute to the affective economy of HE leadership. The research also raises wider questions about the possibilities of disrupting dominant neoliberal constructions of HE if those who question such values are excluded (or self-exclude) from leadership positions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Neoliberalism; higher education; women in leadership; affective economy; South Asia
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Yasmin Ali
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2015 08:13
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 12:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56994

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