"It’s an Administrative Thing": Positioning Tutor Identity Through Administrative Practice in the Academy

Gunasekara, Chrys (2007) "It’s an Administrative Thing": Positioning Tutor Identity Through Administrative Practice in the Academy. In Curtis, B., Matthewman, S., & McIntosh, T. (Eds.) TASA and SAANZ Joint Conference 2007: Public Sociologies: Lessons Trans-Tasman Comparisons, 4 December 2007 - 7 December 2007, Auckland, New Zealand.

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This paper examines practices, artefacts and symbols in administrative practice that construct and position an identity for tutors working in an academic institution, called Metropolitan University (MU). The paper describes how basic administrative practices, seemingly trite in some instances, work to construct tutors as marginal to the academic teaching project, notwithstanding evidence that these casual workers are an increasing segment of the academic workforce, moving towards the centre of program delivery. The paper describes five aspects of administrative practice relating to the employment of tutors in some areas within MU that contribute towards positing their identities. These aspects are: the labels used in the workplace to denote tutors; hiring practices; pay practice; the working environment and practices relating to continuity (or the lack thereof) of employment. While there is a nascent literature on the academic labour process that points to the social construction of tutor identities, this literature has not paid a great deal of attention to some of the simple, yet powerful mechanisms through which this subject position is created and sustained. An important purpose of this paper is to create a space for reflection and discussion on our own values and practices in engaging with these important workers who, like others, endeavour to invest something of themselves in the academic enterprise.

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ID Code: 12607
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Administration, Universities, Practice
ISBN: 9782868691145
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 21 Feb 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:35

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