Survival of the fittest: women's academic experiences of navigating neoliberal expectations in Turkish universities

GÖKTÜRK Ş., Tulubas T.

GENDER AND EDUCATION, vol.33, no.3, pp.267-284, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09540253.2020.1735311
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Gender Studies Database, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.267-284
  • Keywords: Women academics, performativity culture, neoliberal academy, academic career, higher education, well-being, PROFESSIONAL WOMENS, GENDER, WORK, LIFE, SUBJECTIVITIES, POLITICS, BALANCE, FAMILY, MODEL
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


This study is grounded on the idea that women academics could be experiencing significant challenges and injustices in the gender-blind, market-driven, and performative culture of the neoliberal academe. The study particularly explores the perceptions of Turkish academic women regarding their career experiences, and evaluates these perceptions in respect to their subjective well-being. The data was gathered through in-depth interviews with twenty-eight women academics from Turkish state universities. The analysis revealed that academic women who managed to achieve academic status and esteem seemed to have paid the price in their private lives and given in a lot in regard to their well-being. Implications were made to improve work conditions in the academe so that women do not have to pay such a penalty to make a successful academic career.