Reflections from the Wrong Side of the Tracks: Class, Identity, and the Working Class Experience in Academe

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C. Vincent Samarco, Stephen L. Muzzatti
Rowman & Littlefield, 2006 - Education - 276 pages
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In this edited collection of narrative-based, critically situated essays, each contributor explores how class has affected his/her personal and academic lives. The collection is divided into three sections: i) narratives that critique the meritocracy; ii) narratives that trace the effects of middle class cultural capital on relatively new academics from the working class, and; iii) narratives that explore the effects of class on longtime academics from the working class. The effect of the collection will be cumulative. By choosing contributors from multiple disciplines, including both established and emerging voices, the text articulates the pervasiveness of class bias in this country and fleshes out the mechanisms that mask how class and power work. Such a text is critically important, both inside and outside academia, because it demystifies the academic world for those who have been restricted by it, but also engages critically trained academics and academics-in-waiting to understand and respond to the experiences of working class students. Finally, the authors hope this text will encourage other working class students to consider an academic career as an option.
 

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Contents

Slippinthrough the Cracks WorkingClass Academics
7
Working It Out
23
Personal Professional and Political Paths to the Study
37
Can a WorkingClass Girl Have Roots and Wings?
61
and the WorkingClass Experience in Academia
69
Attacked from Within and Without WorkingClass Academics
81
Working within
101
The WorkingClass Student Meets
117
Stoking the Fires of Resistance Longtime WorkingClass
171
The Meaning of Class Differences in the Academic World
187
Trajectory and Transformation of a WorkingClass Girl
197
Impostors in the Ivory Tower
207
The Radical
241
Index
261
About the Contributors
273
Copyright

The Pain Praxis and Polemics
135

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Page 260 - Such a perspective, while it would insist on the self as a site for politicization, -would equally insist that simply describing one's experience of exploitation or oppression is not to become politicized. It is not sufficient to know the personal but to know — to speak it in a different way.
Page 259 - Gramsci's view of hegemony, that "domination is exercised as much through popular 'consensus' achieved in civil society as through physical coercion (or threat of it) by the state apparatus, especially in advanced capitalist societies where education, the media, law, mass culture, etc. take on a new role."26 This notion of hegemony was a significant breakthrough in the debates about the role and function of ideology.

About the author (2006)

Stephen L. Muzzatti is Assistant Professor of sociology at Ryerson University, Toronto. C. Vincent Samarco is Associate Professor of American literature and creative writing at Saginaw Valley State University. He also teaches creative writing at the Saginaw Correctional Facility.

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