4.4 Commercialization, carelessness and gender in educational leadership
Lynch. L., Grummell, B., and Devine, D. (2012) New Managerialism in Education: Commercialization Carelessness and Gender. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kathleen Lynch, Bernie Grummell and Dympna Devine (2012) identify the operation of neoliberalism and mechanisms of audit culture within Ireland. Drawing on their earlier work showing the importance of affective structures in social changes, the authors go beyond seeking psychological feelings or understandings (Grummell et al., 2009a; Lynch, 2010; Lynch et al., 2009). A focus on ‘the production and reproduction of gender inequalities in the workplace’ enables a critical examination of how new managerialism functions in the lives of leaders in schools particularly those with primary care responsibilities.
The book outlines how neo-liberal ideas and policies are integrated within the new managerialist approach leading to the reconstruction of education leaders in Ireland. The new culture places a great importance on long work hours, strong competitiveness, and intense organizational dedication in a way that militates against those with caring commitments particularly women and men with primary care responsibilities.
The neo-liberal citizen is one who is careless and commercially ever ready to make an investment with a view to personal profit, in short, the ‘competitive man’ and ‘the cosmopolitan worker built around a calculating, entrepreneurial, detached self… unencumbered by care responsibilities [who] is free to play the capitalist game (p. 83). The neo-liberal primacy of transactions around profitmaking and financial investment means that the unpaid labour in families and communities is not seen to count and so misrecognised as a burdensome and irritating cost. The distinction made between profit and investment of that profit leaves money spent on public services to be characterised as wasteful and draining.