Academic, woman, mother

negotiating multiple subjectivities during early career

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations (Scopus)


The dominant definition of “early career” in academia is a normative one. Typically five years post-PhD, the early career academic (ECA) moves from post-doctoral, tenure track or Level A to Assistant Professor, Level B, Reader and onwards. This assumes steady employment and continuous research and professional development, and does not reflect the lived experience of many ECAs. Academic work, especially during the career development phase, is excessive and frequently performed outside work hours. For women, intensifiers include unacknowledged work or academic “housework,” high teaching and administrative loads, and under-representation at senior levels (Grant and Knowles 2000; Probert 2005). When motherhood and early career intersect, the challenges of research and career development are further intensified. This chapter explores ECA motherhood in two ways. First, it presents an authoethnographic account of mothering an ill child during PhD, and coping with secondary infertility and ectopic pregnancy as an ECA. Second, it examines survey data from Australian women ECAs with caring responsibility for children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeing an early career feminist academic
Subtitle of host publicationglobal perspectives, experiences, and challenges
EditorsRachel Thwaites, Amy Pressland
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137543257
ISBN (Print)9781137543240
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave studies in gender and education
ISSN (Print)2524-6445
ISSN (Electronic)2524-6453


  • Academic Work
  • Early Career
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Emotional Labour
  • Research Output

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  • Cite this

    Bosanquet, A. (2017). Academic, woman, mother: negotiating multiple subjectivities during early career. In R. Thwaites, & A. Pressland (Eds.), Being an early career feminist academic: global perspectives, experiences, and challenges (pp. 73-91). (Palgrave studies in gender and education). London: Palgrave Macmillan.