Balancing family and career in the Academe

The latest issue of Women’s Studies in Communication (Volume 31, Number 2, Summer 2008) is devoted to: Redefining the Professor(iate): Valuing Commitments to Care and Career in the Academe. Guest-edited by Nikki C. Townsley and Kirsten J. Broadfoot, the issue takes stock of the work/life balance that has much in common with other professions but also has its own set of unique characteristics in the tenure-tracked college and university setting. Integrating personal and professional lives is both the problem and the goal and the testimonies of scholars, mostly women, that make up this issue offer a wide range of insight on the subject, including less trodden areas as pointed out by the editors in the Introduction. “While much research and literature has been dedicated to the struggle over and between commitments to family and work for female academics, little attention has been paid to male professors with primary care giving responsibilities to children, nor the sandwich generation with simultaneous care responsibilities to elderly parents as well as children.” They conclude: “As a result [of the contributors’ frankness], their words serve as a call for a ‘larger vision,’ as described by Kerber, ‘to reclaim the academic workplace as a locale for a full and humane life, for contemplation and mediation. People who do good work over the full expanse of their careers should be whole human beings, part of the world’s comedies and tragedies.’ The new professoriate will not accept the loss of its self and its community as the price to pay to satisfy work and family commitments . “

This issue is not yet online but is available in the ASC Library.

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