Being an academic: how junior female academics in Korea survive in the neoliberal context of a patriarchal society.

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Authors: Yangson Kim and SeungJung Kim
Date: June 2021
From: Higher Education(Vol. 81, Issue 6)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,268 words
Lexile Measure: 1400L

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Abstract :

This study aims to analyze the experiences and challenges of Korea's junior female academics (JFAs), whose work environments align closely with the cultural context of a patriarchal society that follows neoliberal principles. It also explores how they overcome these challenges while maintaining the status quo. Thirteen JFAs working in the fields of the humanities and social sciences were interviewed to examine their experiences and challenges. The interview data were analyzed within the neoliberal context of a patriarchal society using the concept of academic growth put forward by O'Meara, Terosky, and Neumann (2008 (See CR41)) within the sociocultural and external environment. This study illustrates JFAs' struggle to survive in their academic career in a neoliberal context and a situation infused with patriarchal culture. JFAs endeavor to produce high research performance to find opportunities for stable positions. However, it is difficult for JFAs who have children to achieve enormous research output without family support. Otherwise, they work with robust self-regulation and endurance. Also, JFAs encounter various obstacles, including patriarchal networks, limited job opportunities, gender-based division of labor, and harassment. The findings show that the problems JFAs face are perceived as personal issues, leading to low self-esteem and promoting a sense of failure in them. Therefore, social compromise and understanding of JFAs based on institutional support are needed to nurture female academics who are facing various challenges.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662708641