Shamelessly eavesdropping in a Manchester Airport café, I heard a man in his early 20s talking about his job as a social media influencer. Although he has a million followers and can demonstrate income from advertising revenue (and his clothing brand), he’s struggling to get a mortgage given the instability of the ‘profession’. The idea of making a living by commodifying your personal life seems bizarre me. But, ironically, were there parallels with what I was doing?
I am working class, get me out of here – Being a working-class academic in a university (by our new anonymous contributor)
The constant look of shock you get
Being a working class academic for me means people being shocked when you tell them you’re a Dr, and not because they have never met a doctor before, but because YOU hold that title. Someone who looks, talks, and dresses like you, lives where you live, has a PhD? Every time I tell someone they reply with “really?, “wow”, “you’re joking?” or something similar and my heart sinks a little. If that doesn’t tell you that we have an issue with class within higher education, then I am not sure what will.
The following chapter has been kindly allowed for distribution by Trentham Press. It appears in Caliban’s Dance, an exciting book of chapters written by Educators and Administrators from Further Education and Higher Education. You can order a copy of the book from https://www.ucl-ioe-press.com/books/higher-education-and-lifelong-learning/calibans-dance/
My chapter outlines some of the background experiences that lead to choices made later, as educator. The summary I would give is that our lives are the resource we draw on, knowledge is grown and forms over a life, not discovered in whole form.
I hope you find something in it worth the time you gave to read it. If you like it, let me know at email@example.com.
Solidarity Spaces and Working Class Voices by Becky Bainbridge, Francesca Bernardi, Jo Fletcher-Saxon, Fraser Mycroft, Lou Mycroft, Joanna Norton, Jodie Rees, Amber Taylor-Smith, Jane Williamson
When we found one another in lockdown, in a Zoom room called the Solidarity Thinking Space, we also found our voices. Not that we’d been exactly silent before; our number included many outspoken activists. We found that coming together around our shared identity as ‘working class thinkers’ (still an uncomfortable label) enabled us to be unguarded in a way which caused us to reflect on how guarded we’d been before.
This article represents my personal perspectives and not the views or sentiments of my employer or any other organisation.
Answer – They are all influenced by White supremacy ideology.