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Just 'non-academics'?: Research administrators and contested occupational identity


Reference:

Allen-Collinson, J., 2006. Just 'non-academics'?: Research administrators and contested occupational identity. Work, Employment and Society, 20 (2), pp. 267-288.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017006064114

Abstract

Surprisingly perhaps, knowledge about occupational groups within academia is relatively scant, with an almost exclusive concentration upon teaching staff. The research upon which this article is based aims to fill this gap by focusing upon one specific group, which, to date, has been under-researched: research administrators. Utilizing primarily symbolic interactionist analyses, and based upon qualitative interviews, the project sought to investigate the occupational life-worlds of research administrators.The wide range of roles and divergent responsibilities covered by the title of ‘research administrator’ emerged as salient features, together with the boundary-crossing, ambiguous nature of much research administrative work.The article examines in particular the ‘identity work’ (Prus, 1996) undertaken by research administrators as they seek to resist categorization as ‘mere nonacademics’, and to counteract social invisibility. Administrative–academic relations were also found to constitute a core element within administrators' occupational life-worlds, and the article considers how the putative administrative/academic boundary is often problematized by research administrators.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsAllen-Collinson, J.
DOI10.1177/0950017006064114
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Education
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code22636

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