‘I love my work but I hate my job’—Early career academic perspective on academic times in Australia

Nick Osbaldiston, Fabian Cannizzo, Christain Mauri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


There has been significant interest of late into how academics spend their time during both their working and personal lives. Inspired by research around academic lives, this paper explores the narratives of 25 early career academics in Australian institutions across the country. Like several others, we propose that one of the fundamental aspects of time in academia is that of labour spent doing formal, instrumental and bureaucratic tasks. This impinges on the other side of academic life, the writing, research and discovery that bring subjective value to the academic. Using a Weberian framework however, we argue that there are two distinct rationalisations of these ‘times’ occurring. One is the formal, instrumentally imposed rationalisation of the university itself and the second is a more personally defined subjective rationalisation of research and writing. In terms of the latter, we argue that younger academics are not only seeing these times as important for their sense of self in the present but also for their projected vision of what they will become later in their professional career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-762
Number of pages20
JournalTime & Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • academic times
  • Academic work
  • autonomy
  • higher education
  • Weber

Cite this