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The identities and lived/career experiences of Algerian female academics at universities: a feminist postcolonial perspective

Abbou, F. Z. (2022) The identities and lived/career experiences of Algerian female academics at universities: a feminist postcolonial perspective. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00110980


Exploring the underrepresentation of women in academic leadership and professorial roles has received considerable attention from researchers and academics worldwide. Nevertheless, there seem to be limited studies focusing on the lived experiences of female academics in Algerian universities. This thesis addresses that gap. It explores how female academics' lived experiences impact the way they define and construct their identities in private (domestic) and public (professional) spheres. It seeks to unveil how sociocultural, organisational, and personal factors shape female academics’ identities and the strategies they deploy to navigate their multiple roles. This study's conceptual and theoretical framework centres on identity, giving attention to identity work and regulation theory (Alvesson & Willmott, 2002), gender performativity (Butler, 1988) and feminist postcolonial theories (Petersen and Rutherford, 1986; Mernissi, 2003) and women’s careers in the context of Algerian higher education. This research adopts a critical paradigm, taking a hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative approach to explore the lived experiences of 18 female academics. Data was collected in two phases, beginning with a pre-interview task, followed by semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed thematically (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The main findings of this study indicate that female academics in Algeria are under double colonisation, stemming from the patriarchal local culture and historically from colonial imperialism, which has left an effect on the Algerian educational system and shapes the construction of women’s identities in public (professional) and private (domestic) spheres in line with social norms. This study’s findings have important implications for higher education gender equality policy and practice. This study makes an important contribution to the Algerian literature concerned with women’s identities and careers in higher education and paves the way for future studies to extend the Algerian literature in the field.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Jones, K. and Wong, B.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:110980

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