Perpetuating academic capitalism and maintaining gender orders through career practices in STEM in universities

O' Hagan C., O'Connor P., Myers E. S., Baisner L., Apostolov G., Topuzova I., ...More

CRITICAL STUDIES IN EDUCATION, vol.60, no.2, pp.205-225, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/17508487.2016.1238403
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.205-225
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Academic capitalism is an outcome of the interplay between neoliberalism, globalisation, markets and universities. Universities have embraced the commercialisation of knowledge, technology transfer and research funding as well as introducing performance and audit practices. Academic capitalism has become internalised as a regulatory mechanism by academics who attempt to accumulate academic capital. Universities are traditionally gendered organisations, reflecting the societal gender order. Despite fears regarding the feminisation of the academy, the embrace of academic capitalism is contributing to its re-masculinisation and exercises an incidental gender effect. Practicing is the means by which the gender order is constituted at work. Three practices in which academics engage are examined as exemplars of the way academics increase their academic capital stock in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) faculties in four European universities, in Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland and Turkey. These practices tend to be more achievable and likely to be engaged in by men, thus, career practices are the mechanism through which the gender effect of academic capitalism is achieved, academic capitalism perpetuated and the gender order maintained in STEM in academia.