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Individual weakness to collective strength: (Re)creating the self as a ‘working-class academic’

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This article is an autoethnographic account of my experience of becoming a working-class academic. I have found that, in addition to overcoming structural inequalities, ‘escaping’ a working-class home to seek a new life in a strange world has required the construction of a new identity that is neither entirely ‘academic’ nor entirely ‘working-class’. I discuss my perspective on class privilege and inequality through my experience of being part of a group of people who tend to exist in academia as invisible individuals. I have written this article as a practical exercise that contributes to increasing this visibility because, by becoming a more visible and collective community, it is possible to challenge existing notions of what it means to be working-class, to be an academic or to be both.
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Keywords: academia; autoethnography; capital; class; collective identity; higher education; inequality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice is the official organ of the Writing Purposefully in Art and Design (Writing PAD) network. It offers art and design institutions an arena in which to explore and develop the notion of thinking through writing as a parallel to visual discourse in art and design practice. The journal aims to extend the debates to all national and international higher educational art and design institutions.
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