Impairment effects as a career boundary; A case study of disabled academics

Jannine Williams, Sharon Mavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Within the academic career literature, disabled academics are under-researched, despite calls for career theory development through the exploration of marginalized groups' career experiences and the boundaries which shape these experiences. Here, boundaries refer to the symbolic resources which become reified to construct social boundaries shaping what is and is not possible in career contexts. This article contributes to the advancement of academic career theory by enabling insights into impairment effects as an embodied career boundary for disabled academics and outlining how experiences of impairment effects and disabled academics' agency are entangled with their career context and organizational members' responses. Impairment effects shape career choices and opportunities, by being negated, and/or influencing expectations of employers to provide inclusive contexts which acknowledge impairment effects as a legitimate organizing principle. However this recognition of impairment as a legitimate organizing principle is not always reciprocated, with implications for disabled academics' careers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-141
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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