Mitigating academic isolation
Academic isolation is an involuntary perceived separation from the academic field to which one aspires to belong. It is associated with a perceived lack of agency in terms of one’s engagement with the field, and it represents a key challenge for researchers in increasingly globalized academic careers. We are committed to mitigating academic isolation because our group members have experienced how it disproportionally affects scholars who are removed from the main research centres (e.g., outside North America and Europe), who are non-native English speakers, who lack financial resources to fund their research and conferencing activities, or who have caregiving commitments. To us, this is a matter of diversity, equity, and inclusion which should be advanced to improve academic environments and career prospects for early career scholars.
The Scrutinizers used their research field (Consumer Culture Theory) as a context to discuss how academic isolation is a broader problem than sometimes recognized with important implications for researchers' well-being and productivity.
We outline a set of tactics that ECRs can use to better integrate into their research fields, and articulate the strategies that core actors in the field have used to facilitate ECRs' integration and make their research fields more inclusive.
You can read our research on academic isolation here: Isolation in globalizing academic fields: a collaborative autoethnography of Early Career Researchers