Market Yourself

Even if you get a TT job at an R1 straight out of grad school and then get tenure, you are still a victim.

You aren’t a good enough entrepreneur of the self unless you have learned how to market yourself as a victim. This is discussed at length in Eva Illouz’s book, so I won’t say more.

11 thoughts on “Market Yourself”

  1. “My tenure dossier was examined three times before I was allowed to submit it”
    Imagine if they hadn’t done that. We’d be reading “Nobody mentored me, nobody went out of their way to make sure my dossier was prepared in accordance with the unwritten codes of the institution.

    “and I was warned that I made myself look too good at times and that I should downplay some of my achievements. ”
    Was it that maybe she played up certain things that would be unimpressive to various layers of review? There’s an art to knowing what to play up or not play up.

    “As most female academics of color, I have taken on every service-related task that was requested of me, changed my schedule and plans to suit those of my senior colleagues and even volunteered myself for the committees no one wants to sit on.”
    I’m a pale male and I’ve done the same. I’m a victim of my own approach to work, not a victim of society.


    1. I’ve met only wonderful, helpful colleagues who were always there for me. We disagree, we argue, we yell, but everybody is a great person. I have no idea how some people manage to run across nobody but nasty evildoers.


  2. I’m surprised by this linked post, and I find a lot of it hard to believe. Am I just naive or ignorant, as a white man, about the experiences of WOC in academia? Because the impression she gives is that she is a victim of constant microagressions and that almost no one in her own department actually respects her, even though her department apparently supported her tenure bid, and on top of that, her colleagues were extremely helpful in reviewing her tenure dossier. I want to believe some of what she says, but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder (without more concrete examples) if part of the problem is her own attitude and/or if she’s been taught to feel this way. I mean, if no one is nice to you, could it perhaps be you who is the problem?


    1. Another question is, God, who wants to spend their entire working life surrounded by such horrible shits? If they are really this horrible. Or maybe the entire planet is this horrible and there is no escape.


  3. Maybe part of it is the hypercompetitive nature of working at an R1? (I’m assuming, because I’m not at an R1.) Perhaps the constant pressure on each faculty member to show others how great a scholar you are, in comparison to them, which is then interpreted as “No one truly respects my scholarly work”?


  4. Although — a few days ago I listed for a male colleague all the things that are typically said to me about how I should be, work, etc., what I must be thinking, how I have challenged people too much, etc., and his draw dropped — he was really amazed — and he kept saying how painful, how painful, I had no idea your experience was like this


    1. Sorry to hear this, Z. As a white male, I’m not always fully aware of the experiences of my female/minority colleagues in academia, and I often assume that everything’s ok, except for a few bad apples. And everyone at my uni, more or less, seems to genuinely get along, with few exceptions. But that could just be my perhaps inaccurate reading of the situation.


      1. Thanks JProf — it’s not “bad apples”, it’s institutional discrimination against whole groups. Women, people in power, say these things to women and minorities, as well. You are not to be too competent, too ambitious, too analytical, too aware of what the institution is up to, too aware of student / faculty rights, or you are not the right kind of woman


        1. The interesting thing is that if I were to write about how my colleagues supported me, helped me protect my time from service obligations in the first year on the TT, encouraged me, told me I’m a star researcher even when I wasn’t, etc – all of which is true – nobody would want to publish that story, let alone pay me $150 for it. People want to hear how academia is a cesspool of exploitation, harassment, and all kinds of horrors. We oblige and then wonder why the funding for these supposed cesspools of horror and abuse drops. If I weren’t in academia and were just a regular taxpayer who only knew what got reported, I’d object to my tax dollars going to pay the salaries of these nasty creeps as well. From media accounts, it looks like all we do is run around raping and terrorizing students and each other.


          1. The reason people hate academics is because they think academia is nice. A great deal of the kvetching is to protect against being told that what you do is not work and should not be paid.


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