The neurotic academic: how anxiety fuels casualised academic work

Loveday, Vik. 2018. The neurotic academic: how anxiety fuels casualised academic work. [Digital]

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Abstract or Description

As higher education undergoes a process of marketisation in the UK and the activities of academic staff are increasingly measured and scrutinised, universities are suffused with anxiety. Coupled with pressures facing all staff, casualised academics face multiple forms of insecurity. While anxiety is often perceived as an individual problem for which employees are encouraged to take personal responsibility, Vik Loveday argues that anxiety amongst academic staff should be understood in two ways: as a symptom of casualised work in an increasingly competitive environment; and as a tactic of governance, ensuring compliance.

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This blog post is based on the author’s article, “The neurotic academic: anxiety, casualisation, and governance in the neoliberalising university”, published in the Journal of Cultural Economy (DOI: 10.1080/17530350.2018.1426032). The research was supported by the British Academy [SG142753]

About the author

Vik Loveday is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, at Goldsmiths, University of London. She researches subjective experiences of work in the UK’s HE sector and aside from her recent work on the relationship between casualisation and perceptions of luck, she has also published on social mobility and working-class participation in higher education, and shame and nostalgia amongst working-class students. She is currently exploring how senior managers in universities are making sense of their own roles within the rapidly changing sector.


Anxiety, academia, casualised work,

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17 April 2018

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Date Deposited:

10 May 2018 10:10

Last Modified:

10 May 2018 10:10


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