Within the policy discourse of academic work, teaching, research and administration are seen as discrete elements of practice. We explore the assumptions evident in this 'official story' and contrast it with the messy experience of academic work, drawing upon empirical studies and conceptualisations from our own research and from recent literature. We propose that purposive disciplinary practice across time and space is inextricably entangled with and fundamental to academic experience and identity; the fabrications of managerialism, such as the workload allocation form, fragment this experience and attempt to reclassify purposes and conceptualisations of academic work. Using actor-network theory as an analytical tool, we explore the gap between official and unofficial stories, attempting to reframe the relationship between discipline and its various manifestations in academic practice and suggesting a research agenda for investigating academic work
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