Recognition and accountability: sole parent postgraduates in university conditions
Written by Genine A. Hook
This paper aims to examine some of the ways sole parents sought recognition as postgraduate students in Australian universities. Judith Butler’s theory of recognition notes that recognition is always partial and any account we give of ourselves must be given to another. Participants articulated that supervisors were critical in the process of recognition; without recognition from an academic supervisor, postgraduates are unrecognisable and are unable to account for themselves. University timetabling often conflicted with sole parenting responsibilities, academic conference attendance and expectations of academic publications were understood as problematic factors in recognisability for sole parent postgraduates. Problematic supervisory relations, restricted access to academic classes or seminars and limited access to academic conferences exacerbated sole parent isolation and influenced their recognisability as sole parent postgraduates.