Style counsellor 2

November 5, 2004

Susan Bassnett is obviously influenced more by style than substance. It's a sad reflection of our present pass that colleagues who should know better are seduced by the pseudo-authoritative veneer of commercial-sector dress codes.

One of the joys of academic life is (or was) its levelling informality and hierarchy of respect based on intellectual stature. The present obsession with management is killing this like a necrotising infection, with its suffocating bureaucracy and evening-class business-school claptrap. The suits and twinsets popping up round academic committee tables are a dismal symptom of it.

Chris Barnard
Nottingham

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