Doing Neoliberalism on Campus: The Vulnerability of Gender Equality Mechanisms in Estonian Academia

Kadri Aavik
2017 Gender a Výzkum  
This paper explores the construction of a gendered neoliberal rationality in postsocialist academic settings. Drawing on interviews conducted with key stakeholders in four major Estonian universities, I trace how three key gender equality policy measures are conceptualised -quotas, workplace fl exibility, and the involvement of men in efforts towards gender equality. The fi ndings suggest that Estonian academic stakeholders fi ll these key gender equality policy ideas with meanings that distort
more » ... the original purpose of these solutions, and thereby render these policy ideas counter-productive as mechanisms designed to bring about change in gender relations. Instead, these conceptualisations serve the interests of the neoliberal university, enabling and reinforcing the atomisation and exploitation of academic labourers, particularly women. Collectively, these articulations constitute, along with other practices, the 'doing of neoliberalism' in post-socialist university settings. Academic stakeholders do not (just) refl ect an already established totalising neoliberal framework, but in fact discursively (and materially) create and reproduce what we have come to understand and refer to as 'neoliberalism' in academia. This has implications for devising and implementing gender equality policies in higher education in the post-socialist region, as the solutions applied elsewhere in Europe may not work in the same way in Central-Eastern Europe.
doi:10.13060/25706578.2017.18.1.353 fatcat:nqgjkczvdfghta5gpxqoefh2ju