The Changing Gender Regime in the Neoliberal Legal Academy

Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie (The German Journal of Law and Society), 2013, 33(2) , pp 235-251

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 14-35

23 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014

Date Written: August 19, 2014

Abstract

Using the Australian case as illustrative, this article revolves around the construction of merit, the lynchpin of the gender regime within the prevailing legal academy. Far from being a neutral concept in which "the best person for the job" is appointed according to individual worth, it is argued that merit is an ideologically laden term which obscures a preference for masculinity. It is nevertheless not static and unchanging for its neutral carapace enables it to adapt to the prevailing context and accommodate new norms. Hence, just when the legal academy was on the cusp of feminisation, with women comprising approximately 56 per cent of all legal academics, the neoliberal turn and the corporatisation of universities has given masculinity an adrenalin shot in the arm. Through an overview of the key academic criteria of teaching, research and service, it is argued that the casualisation of teaching, research entrepreneurialism and top-down managerialism have contributed to a reconfiguration of the gender regime.

Keywords: Legal academy, gender, selection criteria, corporatisation of universities, Australia

Suggested Citation

Thornton, Margaret, The Changing Gender Regime in the Neoliberal Legal Academy (August 19, 2014). Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie (The German Journal of Law and Society), 2013, 33(2) , pp 235-251; ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 14-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2482926

Margaret Thornton (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
57
rank
359,233
Abstract Views
459
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information