“You Must Say Good-Bye At The School Door:” Reflections On The Tense And Contentious Practices Of An Educational Researcher-Mother In A Neoliberal Moment

  • Sarah A. Robert University at Buffalo (SUNY-USA)
Keywords: teachers' work, higher education work, women's work


In this essay I draw on encounters where I negotiated the public role of feminist educational researcher and the private role of mother.  I attempt to connect them to broader structural issues affecting education and women’s paid and unpaid labor, specifically, in a global neoliberal reform context.  I do this by sharing encounters from two contexts in which I negotiated these public / private roles--Argentina and the United States--as a means of a) critically reflecting on my positionality in multiple education contexts including K-12 schools and academia; b) illustrating that the personal is political in ways that reflect broader structural politics; c) foreshadowing the ways qualitative educational research can be deeply connected to macro-level—and transnational—social, political, and economic trends related to education, labor, and policy; and, d) bringing gender into conversations about the impact of neoliberalism on educational work.