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Knowledge hustlers: gendered micro-politics and networking in UK universities

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This paper explores the role of gendered academic networks in the context of research evaluation, and women’s lived experiences of UK universities. Gendered power is conceptualised as an important aspect of inequality regimes, providing insight into how men maintain power and how power dynamics and informal networks function, characterised in this paper as ‘the hustle’. A case study comprising 80 in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews was completed in a UK university. Acker’s (2006) theory of inequality regimes informed the central analytical framework and Bradley's (1999) resource-based theory of power was used to explore the power dynamics in the case study. The findings have resulted in the creation of a conceptual framework which theorises the hybridised nature of inequality, gendered power and organisational lived experience, in which inequality regimes and gendered power interact and are mutually reinforced through informal processes. This paper argues, from the findings of the empirical research, that in the context of the neoliberal university, inequality regimes and gendered power interact, and are mutually reinforced through informal processes and networks- ‘the hustle’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Early online date19 Aug 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 19 Aug 2020


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