Loaded dice: games playing and the gendered barriers of the academy
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Journal: Gender and Education
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper explores the perceptions and experiences of women academics in the UK, participating in a small-scale qualitative study exploring career progression and encountered institutional obstacles. The accounts are considered in terms of both disadvantageous institutional strategies and interpersonal ones governing day-to-day working relationships. The findings contribute to a growing body of international research on gender constructions in the academy, where both inhibiting and exclusionary barriers are examined in focus group discussions (FGDs) in terms of gendered constructions that are perceived to impact upon the career opportunities of women academics. Analysis of data encouraged the employment of a ludic construction in this critical exploration of games playing and ‘gamesmanship’ (a masculinised term); these being themes raised in the FGDs as representing blocks and challenges to women’s academic careers.