Writing Yourself In? The Price of Playing the (Feminist) Game in the Neoliberal Academy

Sarah Burton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter draws on ethnographic fieldwork with women sociologists working in UK academia and questions the extent to which feminist positions are able to ‘become’, ‘arrive’, or assert themselves as legitimate within the academy. Orienting itself around specific accounts of how these women negotiate the demands of the Research Excellence Framework, the chapter focuses on narratives of writing practices and how these relate to the production of knowledge understood as legitimate within the discipline. Participants’ accounts show how feminist positions work in paradoxical and contradictory ways—as supportive, generative, and creative, but also demanding of onerous and time-consuming emotional labour, thus arguably disadvantaging the feminist academic. Through attentiveness to the institutional and affective conditions of the writing lives of participants, the chapter raises the provocative question of how far it is really possible to ‘write oneself in’—to what extent is it feasible for a feminist position to be a legitimate(d) position?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeeling Academic in the Neoliberal University
Subtitle of host publicationFeminist Flights, Fights and Failures
EditorsYvette Taylor, Kinneret Lahad
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-64223-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Gender and Education


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