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On the (im)possibilities of being a good enough researcher at a neoliberal university

Zielke, Julia, Thompson, Matthew and Hepburn, Paul 2022. On the (im)possibilities of being a good enough researcher at a neoliberal university. Area 10.1111/area.12815

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Abstract: Three years after finishing a participatory research project with a low‐income community, we look back at the ways we struggled and continue to struggle under the neoliberal climate we find ourselves in. Specifically, we ask whether the managerialised research infrastructures of the neoliberal university provide a ‘good enough’ environment, and whether we, as researchers, were able to conduct ‘good enough’ research with austerity‐stricken respective communities. Engaging with literature on failure and self‐care, we offer insights on the (im)possibilities of doing ‘good enough’ research in climates that are harsh to participants as well as researchers. Taking a Winnicottian, psychoanalytic lens of working under ‘average expectable conditions’, we conclude that, over time, we may perhaps create moments of micro‐resistance that may make our failures productive; however, these should not give research institutions a free pass to continue their not‐good‐enough, exploitative practices.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0004-0894
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 June 2022
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 13:18

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