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

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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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Editorial Reviews

Gregg Barak
This collection is quite effective in capturing a representation of the diversity, including the similar and dissimilar experiences, of those aspiring and successful academics from a working class background.
Charles Varano
This is a relevant and emotionally compelling collection of essays. The authors delve deeply into to the issues of class conflict and ambivalence, the tension between the professional-managerial class and the working class, and the obstacles to social mobility. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742535121
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Happy Accidents: the Unofficial Story of How I Became an Academic Chapter 2 Working it Out Chapter 3 Personal, Professional, and Political Paths to the Study of the Crimes of the Powerful Chapter 4 A Stranger to Paradise: Working-Class Graduate in the Culture of Academia Chapter 5 Can a Working-Class Girl Have Roots and Wings? White Trash in the Ivory Tower Chapter 6 Working Class Need Not Apply: Job Hunting, Job Interviews, and the Working-Class Experience in Academe Chapter 7 Making Class Matter: My Life as a Semi-Earhole Chapter 8 White, Working Class, and Feminist: Working Within The Master's House and Finding Home Again Chapter 9 "Gimme That!": The Working-Class Student Meets the Working-Class Subject Chapter 10 Critique of Domination: The Pain, Praxis, and Polemics of Working-Class Consciousness in Academia Chapter 11 Working-Class Values and Life in Academe: Examining the Dissonance Chapter 12 Teaching from the Wrong Side of the Tracks: Challenging Privilege and Authority In the Classroom Chapter 13 The Meaning of Class Differences in the Academic World Chapter 14 Trajectory and Transformation of a Working-Class Girl into an Upper-Middle-Class Associate Dean Chapter 15 Making the Grade: Imposters in the Ivory Tower Chapter 16 An Unwashed's Knowledge of Archaeolgy: Class and Merit in Academic Placement Chapter 17 Class Enriching the Classroom: the "Radical" as Rooted Pedagogic Strengths

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