‘Too Busy for Thoughts’: Stress, Tiredness and Finding a Home in the University

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The most recent programme of European Union policy focuses on creating an Innovation Union, shifting from the Lisbon Strategy's aim to create the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world to the need for smart, sustainable, inclusive growth of Horizon 2020. Innovative researchers are therefore essential to the achievement of this. Growth, in this policy discourse, refers not to purely economic measures, such as GDP, but to the more recently developed benchmarks associated with happiness and well-being. This illustrates the extent to which the knowledge of the psy- disciplines has become central to our self-understanding. The professional development guidance and devices made available to the researcher provide strategies derived from psychology for identifying and overcoming weaknesses and address her in a variety of aspirational ways, e.g. as balanced, leading, creative. This does not ignore less attractive, more mundane aspects of the life of the researcher - tiredness, stress, not feeling at home in the university today - but rather treats them as weaknesses to be overcome by resort to psychological strategies. This paper takes each of these in turn to consider them not as conditions to be overcome by means of psychological strategies but as responses to conditions that open up a space for thinking otherwise about how we live with and respond to our conditions (as researchers). It is suggested that to deny them and treat as aspects of ourselves that we can master effects a desubjectivation, while addressing the individual as researcher produces a new mode of subjectivation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducational Research: Discourses of Change and Changes of Discourse
EditorsPaul Smeyers, Marc Depaepe
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783319304557
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Publication series

NameEducational Research
PublisherSpringer International Publishing


  • Educational Research


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