Changing the Academic Subject

McWilliam, Erica L. (2005) Changing the Academic Subject. In Hunter, R. & Keyes, M. (Eds.) Changing Law: Rights, Regulations and Reconciliation. Ashgate, Aldershot, Hants, England, pp. 107-122.


The paper examines the ways in which rationalities of risk currently work to produce the academic as a self-managing worker within the ‘post-welfare’ university as a risk-conscious organisation. It explores how risk minimisation as audit (individual, departmental, organisational), engages all individuals within the university in doing particular sorts of work on themselves, the work of turning themselves into ‘professional experts’. The theme is developed drawing on Mary Douglas’s (1966, 1990) theorising of ‘risk-as-danger’, Marilyn Strathern’s (1997) inquiry into the "audit explosion" in universities, Ericson and Haggerty’s (1997) work on knowledge and professionalism within the risk-conscious organisation, and Castel’s (1991) understanding of the changing nature of the practitioner-client relationship in risk-conscious organisations.

Impact and interest:

22 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 4285
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details :
Additional URLs:
Keywords: risk, higher education, academic staff, HERN
ISBN: 0754625524
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900) > Education not elsewhere classified (139999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Ashgate
Deposited On: 10 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 14:12

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