With the rise in the number of women faculty since the 1970s, the traditional academic model of an exclusive devotion to work has been increasingly contested. Broad changes have occurred in academic culture and policies to make many universities more family-friendly. Recent research on graduate students points to a shift in attitudes about work/family management as well. Graduate students, both male and female, seem to balk at expectations for a sole devotion to an academic career to the exclusion of family life. We examine how faculty members carry out acts of resistance to this traditional model.
This article presents research from two separate but related qualitative studies for a combined sample of 74 faculty members with children.
Women and men faculty make professional and personal choices and engage in behaviors that, in essence, are acts of resistance against the dominant but perhaps “old” culture of academe.
Resistance to the ideal worker norm in academia has been largely overlooked in studies about faculty parents (particularly fathers) and work/family balance. We demonstrate how faculty members act as agents of social change in academia.
Marjukka Ollilainen would like to acknowledge the Hemingway Faculty Development Trust at Weber State University for their financial support of this study through the Hemingway Faculty Research and Vitality Grants. Catherine Richards Solomon would like to acknowledge that portions of this research and manuscript were supported by a Pre-Dissertation Fellowship from the American Education Research Association and the Spencer Foundation, a Dissertation Fellowship from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Grant-in-Aid and a Summer Research Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences at Quinnipiac University. Both authors would like to thank participants for sharing their experiences.
Ollilainen, M. and Solomon, C.R. (2014), "Carving a “Third Path”: Faculty Parents’ Resistance to the Ideal Academic Worker Norm Authors’ names are listed alphabetically; each contributed equally to this chapter.
Authors’ names are listed alphabetically; each contributed equally to this chapter.
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