Who cares for academics? We need to talk about emotional well-being including what we avoid and intellectualise through macro-discourses

Charlie Smith*, Eda Ulus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores academics’ well-being through analysing published sensitive disclosures, bringing to journal space the pain, rawness and emotional suffering of individuals’ experiences. We confront the taboos of speaking openly about mental health and emotional well-being in academic institutions, with masculine structures and encroaching neoliberal discourses that create hostile atmospheres unsupportive of vulnerability and uncertainty. We also challenge existing discourses about academics’ well-being, implicitly burdening individuals as responsible for their pain and creating walls of shame, rather than building new healthy structures. By spotlighting the voices of academics’ emotional disclosures, intensified by embodied social inequalities, we plead for openness in formal academic outlets for sharing pre-existing emotional struggles and new wounds created by cruelly competitive, winner-takes-all structures, fortified by neoliberal ideals. Led by individuals’ voices and experiences, we make recommendations for supporting academics as an attempt to extract academia from its current perverse state and commit to repair and transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-857
JournalOrganization
Volume27
Issue number6
Early online date12 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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