Academic casualization in Australia: Class divisions in the university

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Relations, 2010, 52 (2), pp. 169 - 182
Issue Date:
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Casualization of teaching has become a major issue in Australian universities. In 1990 casuals delivered about a tenth of all university teaching. By 2008 between a third and a half of university teaching was being delivered by casuals. Quantitative studies have assessed the scale of casualization; this qualitative study addresses the experience of casual academics. It documents a sharpening class divide among academics, which has become institutionally embedded. It reports on interviews with casual academics examining how the divide is experienced, and how it may be addressed. Academic casuals report underpayment and compromised quality; they experience persistent income insecurity; and they find themselves voiceless in the workplace. These experiences are interpreted as aspects of class subordination, and possibilities for addressing them are discussed. © Industrial Relations Society of Australia SAGE Publications Ltd.
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