Spectres of exclusion

September 26, 2013

Satire is always very refreshing, but snobbery, class condescension and sexism dressed up as satire? (“Reach out and touch”, The Poppletonian, 19 September.)

Clearly the spectre behind Laurie Taylor’s “humorous” stab at our Humanities in Public initiative is the image of the Neet – the young person not in education, employment or training – as feral lumpen prole, the barely civilised and inarticulate man in a van, the hoodie, presumably interested only in twerking and Jeremy Kyle. What this image blots out (among many other things) is the existence of female Neets who indeed are very much interested in public debates on body images and 21st-century feminism.

And nothing has greater cultural currency than “contemporary Gothic” because zombies, werewolves and ghosts are everywhere these days. The increasing popularity of Gothic imagery has been linked to the recession and the widening chasm between rich and poor, and as such its critical analysis is of major interest to Neets, whose futures are haunted by economic uncertainty and governmental neglect.

Berthold Schoene and Helen Malarky
Manchester Metropolitan University

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