How COVID reconfigured family relationships: Explaining the work of academic women through the lens of complexity theory
Keywords:Academia, Covid-19, Family life, Female academics, Gender
Since 2020, there has been a flurry of research on the impact of Covid-19 on families, and some research on the effects of the pandemic on academic parents. However, little is known about how the pandemic reshaped academic women’s family lives and how this influenced their teaching, research, and inner selves. This innovative study of South African university-based female academics from 2020 to 2021 investigates how Covid restructured family lives in relation to children, partners, elderly parents, and outside support (domestic workers, gardeners, etc.), and what this meant for their academic work. A complexity paradigm is used as the framework, and it provides a relevant approach by recognising that elements interacting in a system result in emergent outcomes that are more complex than can be predicted at the outset. This paper will show that the pandemic-enforced lockdown exposed vulnerability threats to the Education for Sustainable development (ESD) both in terms of the direct education goals (such as lifelong learning opportunities and discrimination in education) as well as the cross-over goals from other sectors (such as health and wellbeing, gender equality, and decent work and sustainable growth).
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Copyright (c) 2022 Dr Samantha Kriger, Dr Cyrill Walters, Jonathan Jansen
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.