Academic and Research Work from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Gender Perspective

Anna Carreri, Annalisa Dordoni


The pandemic represents a turning point which affects the micro‐politics of managing productive, reproductive and social life in our new everyday lives. In this article, we make a contribution to the recent and growing scientific debate by exploring academic researchers’ processes of construction and de-construction of spatial, temporal and relational boundaries that take place in the pandemic work-life stay-at-home style. Particular attention is paid to some macro-structural drivers of work and family life, specifically the role of gender and the organisational culture of the neoliberal university. We chose an exploratory, qualitative, non-directive methodology in order to grasp the permeability between the public and the private that this pandemic, as ever before, makes clear. The empirical material consists of ten in-depth narrative video-interviews conducted online with Italian researchers living in different Regions. The article offers an empirical analysis of working from home with a specific focus on the academic context, which is a privileged setting for the investigation of gender inequalities. The analysis sheds light on subjective experiences of the disarticulation of boundaries and their intertwining with the neoliberal ideal type of academic researcher that have unequal consequences on the experience of time-space, productivity, and intimate relationships between men and women, women with and without children and people who live alone or with family.


pandemic; gender; work-life balance,

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Scientific Magazine classified for ANVUR (Resolution n.89 del 6th November 2012)

Scientific Magazine class A according to ANVUR (Resolution of 11th August 2020)

ISSN 2239-8589 | Managing Editor: Debora Viviani | Editor in Chief: Paola Di Nicola