Diversity and Relational Perspectives
Edited by Katerina Nicolopoulou, Mine Karataş-Özkan, Ahu Tatli and John Taylor
Chapter 14: Multiple Understandings of Time: Academics’ Experiences of the Work–Family Relationship
14. Multiple understandings of time: academics’ experiences of the work–family relationship Gina Gaio Santos INTRODUCTION Knowledge workers are generally categorized as professional, managerial and technical people, the nature of knowledge work being information based, knowledge intensive, and knowledge generating (Frenkel et al., 1995). ‘This definition thus restricts knowledge workers to roles where knowledge is central to what is worked on (medium of work), what is produced (output of work), and how work is undertaken (the act of work)’ (Frenkel et al., 1995, p. 778). Therefore academic work can be regarded as an archetype of this sort of activity. Moreover, knowledge economies involve the commodification of knowledge work, which is considered an asset to be controlled in order to generate maximum market profitability. Thus the embedding of universities in a research knowledge economy has resulted in knowledge production in the academy being increasingly commodified, managed and subject to audit (Blackmore, 2002). In this scenario, competition in the global knowledge economy adds a layer of time compression to academics’ lives. Academics are now faced with new challenges that include the changing social relations of gender and familial arrangements and the time compression brought about by the use of information and communication technologies that blur the boundaries between work and non-work (Araújo, 2008; Perrons et al., 2005). In a rapidly globalizing world, the different concepts of time become central. As Bailyn (2002) underlines, the notion of clock time (or industrial time) fits neither current demographics and lifestyles, nor the needs...
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