What does it mean to be starting an academic career in the twenty-first century? What challenges and prospects are new academics facing and how are they dealing with these? This book attempts to answer these questions through an investigation of the experiences of early career academics in New Zealand universities. The introduction outlines the origins of the research that led to the inclusion of this book in the Changing Academic Profession series. The New Zealand context is explained, the research process described, and the themes for the book laid out. Key areas of focus in the book include: the teaching, research, and service preferences and activities of early career academics; work-life balance; satisfaction; Māori academics; and professional development and support for early career academics. Underpinning the book is the issue of how early career academics are being socialised into the academic profession, particularly in New Zealand universities, and the interaction of structure and agency within those socialisation processes.
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