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The immiseration of working class academics

Un-Hired Ed: The Growing Adjunct Crisis
Source: Online-PhD-Programs.org

We've got plenty of adjuncts in this town; they think they're "middle class"! What a hoot. And they spend a lot of money and time keeping up appearances. Not easy when the money is the same as waitressing or being a fry cook.

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propertius's picture
Submitted by propertius on

As the product of four generations of academics, there isn't a day that goes by that I am not glad I didn't go into the family business. Dr. (soon to be Dr. Dr.) Mrs. Propertius isn't quite so fortunate (although she has a staff, rather than a teaching, position).

The problem is made even worse because student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy since both sides of the Uniparty colluded to "reform" the bankruptcy laws for individuals.

Submitted by Hugh on

This post reminds me why I so dislike academia. It is essentially a feudal system. It is what the rich and elites want to turn the rest of society into. Universities have become large corporations run with a corporate mentality. Far from being intellectual havens for the presentation and debate of controversial ideas, they are anti-intellectual engines of the status quo. Tenure is not about protecting scholars from political pressure so that they are free to pursue their intellectual inquiries. By the time a candidate gets to the point of tenure, they have been vetted by the system sixty different ways and forced to jump through endless hoops, all to prove that they will never think or espouse a truly dangerous and truthful thought. Tenure is no longer a protection but a reward bestowed on deserving hacks. I used to love academia or at least the idea of it. Now it simply offends me.

Applying the feudal model, the administration is the monarchy and royal court. The tenured professors are the lords. The tenure track professors are the knights. The adjuncts and grad students are the squires. And most of the students are or will soon become indebted serfs. It is a very hierarchical structure with those higher up receiving all the perks and those at the bottom doing all the work and getting paid shit and being treated like shit for the privilege. It is in no sense a meritocracy, with petty politics permeating every level and between levels.

I think in a kleptocracy, this is the way it usually works with all our institutions: we are sold the myth but when the curtain is pulled back we see just how dishonest and tawdry the reality is.