Busch, R., & Ledingham, M. (2016). Bothered bloggings and troubled tweets: constructions of stress and concerns for early-career academics. 1st International Conference on Advanced Business and Social Sciences.
While recent studies suggest that stress is becoming more prominent for academics, very little research has been conducted on understanding the realities of stress for early-career academics. Through the employment of social constructionist epistemology and theory as a framework for research, our study examines how early-career academics language and construct experiences of stress and concern. We employed a constructionist thematic analysis. This involved selecting a sample of blogs and Twitter microblogs to code and identifying important themes, in relation to stress and concern. Through a preliminary analysis of blogs, we found that there were recurring concerns on work-life balance, a competitive culture that eroded collegiality and social support, and there were worries about the insecurity of work. Our analysis of Twitter tweets found a range of concerns. There were issues of health and wellbeing, being unfairly discriminated against and not recognised by senior academic staff, structural barriers in the application and access of research, publishing issues and advice in relation to accessibility of research outputs, a governmentality on the standards of academic conduct, and concerns on flexibility in relation to time and work life balance. The findings have implications for higher education institutions in the support and career development of early career academics.
blogging, constructionist thematic analysis, early career academics, stress