The challenges of being an academic from a less privileged background

Twitter discussion addresses issue of class in the academy

July 20, 2015

If you studied Latin at school and had the opportunity to learn languages abroad, life as an academic is much easier. Conversely, if your secondary school didn’t have the capability to teach you multiple languages, you get some pretty strange reactions from your fellow scholars.

This is according to a discussion on Twitter started by Caroline Magennis, lecturer in 20th and 21st century literature at the University of Salford, who asked if any of her followers had encountered problems as a result of being an academic from a less privileged background.

In one contribution to the discussion, Chrissie Van Mierlo says that “listening to a [conference] delegate talk about her experience of a council estate as tho’ it were trip to a zoo was certainly low point”, while in another, Jenny Thatcher recalls the “stomach churning moment you get when people ask you ‘what your parents do?’”.

Dr Magennis’ Storify brings together the conversation in full:

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