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Critical friendship: an alternative, ‘care-full’ way to play the academic game

journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2022, 14:35 authored by Panagiota (Peny) Sotiropoulou, Sophie CranstonSophie Cranston

The severe impact of the neoliberal university has been commonly acknowledged, particularly for women academics. Feminist conceptualisations of academic work highlight that meaningful relationships in the workspace and care ethics in academia are practices of resistance against the neoliberal academy, including those of friendship and mentorship. In this paper, we add critical academic friendship to this repertoire of practices aligning with feminist care ethics and propose it as a way of working within the neoliberal academy slowly and meaningfully. Critical friendship is a practice often used by teacher educators to assist engagement in self-reflection and constructive critical dialogue among colleagues as a means to aid both personal and professional development. Inspired by our personal experience as critical academic friends and using an autoethnographic approach, the paper outlines how our critical friendship developed and was practiced. We highlight how time, space and neoliberal academic practices all influence how this relationship unfolded. Through showcasing how engaging in critical friendship helped us (re)produce robust feminist personal and professional identities, we hope to inspire more academics to share similar experiences, to intensify the message that engaging in ‘care-full’ relationships is paramount for resisting the pressures of neoliberal academic work and for ‘doing’ academia differently and more meaningfully.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Gender, Place and Culture

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor & Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Gender, Place and Culture on 03 May 2022, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0966369X.2022.2069684.

Acceptance date

18/04/2022

Publication date

2022-05-03

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0966-369X

eISSN

1360-0524

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Sophie Cranston. Deposit date: 3 May 2022