On precarity in academia

competition, hypocrisy and humiliation

Authors

  • Philippe Stamenkovic Independent scholar

Keywords:

precarity in academia, competition, hypocrisy, humiliation

Abstract

Precarity in academia is notoriously widespread. The main reason is certainly the fierce competition which has turned the academic job market into a meaningless jungle. It is a terrible waste, in which countless brilliant academics struggle to secure a position, often to an advanced age (when they do not leave the field altogether), with damaging consequences on their personal and psychic life. In this article I recall my own experience of this terrible state of affairs, insisting on the vicious circles in which the “outsider” trying to get in can be caught. I also comment on the hypocrisy and humiliation to which I was personally confronted, which stands in sharp contrast with the “good intentions” which can be seen everywhere in the literature. I conclude by asking tenured, privileged academics to show decency to the precarious workers of academia, who lead a difficult life and deserve respect.

Author Biography

Philippe Stamenkovic, Independent scholar

Philippe Stamenkovic worked five years as an engineer before doing a PhD in history and philosophy of science at Paris Diderot University. After a post-doc at Aix Marseille University, he is currently looking for a job, while specializing in science and society relationships.

Published

2020-07-01