Could Slow be Beautiful?: Academic Counter-Spacing Within & Beyond "The Slow Swimming Club"

Authors: Jones, D.

Journal: Journal of Management Inquiry

Publisher: Sage

ISSN: 1552-6542

This paper proposes a specific form of academic counter-spacing, based on an auto-ethnographic account of an initiative called the “Slow Swimming Club”. The justification for this initiative is to contest what is contextualised as the pervasive fast pace of universities, driven by contemporary marketization, new public management and neo-liberalism. The proposed counter-spacing is analysed here through a conceptual lens, inspired by recent research from the environmental psychology discipline around Attention Restorative Theory (ART), along with its central four principles. By using such a conceptual frame, it allows a way of exploring the impact beyond the personal day-to-day micro restorative counter-spacing opportunities, such as the Slow Swimming Club (which take place outside the university space), towards counter spacing back on campus. It thereby endeavours to explore how such counter spacing not only reflects and disconnects through a restorative coping mechanism but collectively resists and challenges the fast agendas on campus.

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