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Is pursuing an academic career a form of "cruel optimism"?

Thouaille, Marie-Alix (2018) Is pursuing an academic career a form of "cruel optimism"? Impact of Social Sciences Blog (01 Mar 2018). Website.

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What does the future hold for PhD graduates? Marie-Alix Thouaille has found that for many the post-PhD transition is characterised by exploitative, often unsustainable working conditions, emotional upheaval, financial worry, and poor wellbeing. Despite this most PhD graduates remain absolutely determined to forge an academic career, unwilling to even entertain the idea of working in another sector. This paradoxical condition can be seen as a type of “cruel optimism”, with early-career researchers remaining attached to the fantasy of the academic “good life” despite a precarious lived reality. This may be attributable to the culture of doctoral training which centralises academic careers as the “norm”, devalues other career paths as “alternative”, and views leaving academia as “failure”.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 16:13
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 06:07

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