The ‘Woman Question’ and Higher Education

The ‘Woman Question’ and Higher Education

Perspectives on Gender and Knowledge Production in America

Edited by Ann Mari May

This uniquely interdisciplinary study offers a provocative, contemporary look at the ‘Woman Question’ in relation to higher education at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Leading feminist scholars from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines — including history, philosophy, education, psychology, sociology, and economics — evaluate the role of biology, discrimination, and choice in rationalizing women’s exclusion from fully participating in the process of knowledge production, as well as examining institutional impediments. Contextualizing arguments against women’s inclusion and including contemporary perspectives on gender, this book offers a rich, multi-layered examination and critical insights into understanding the near universal difficulties that women encounter as they seek to participate fully in the process of knowledge production.

Chapter 8: The Faculty Time Divide

Jerry A. Jacobs

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of education, education, economics of education

Extract

1 Jerry A. Jacobs Many of my friends and acquaintances in academia find it difficult to keep their working lives under control. Aquatic references seem most common, as in ‘I am swamped at the moment’; ‘I am under water’; and the ever popular ‘I am drowning (in papers, exams, proposals, committee work . . .).’ One of my friends says he will get back to me when he has a chance to come up for air. He is quite an athlete and I suppose he can hold his breath for quite some time, but I do begin to worry if I don’t hear from him for a few weeks. Others prefer more arid metaphors, as in ‘I am buried in papers’ but the wet metaphors seem to dominate the dry, perhaps because time like water is not easy to contain. Most view their own situations as the result of bad choices they make as individuals. We are so busy simply because we have taken on too many projects, presentations, committee assignments, new courses to teach, and countless other commitments. But we need to remember C. Wright Mills’s (1959) dictum that what appear from the individual’s point of view as personal troubles may from a sociological point of view represent a public issue. In short, I hope to persuade you that our chaotic and overloaded schedules reflect not only our own personal choices but also reflect broader patterns of life in academia and indeed in American society more generally. These...

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