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What’s class got to do with it?

Walkerdine, Valerie 2020. What’s class got to do with it? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 10.1080/01596306.2020.1767939
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Drawing on my own experience as a working -class academic and my research in this area for over 40 years, as well of that of working-class students in the present, I discuss how the experience for working-class students in elite universities still includes many aspects of classism, such as shaming, leaving behind one’s community, loyalty, lack of confidence and feelings of (un)belonging, even when those students can, and do, do very well indeed and even when policies are apparently in place to support them. With class not being a protected characteristic in the 2010 UK Equality Act legislation( issues of classism tend to be ignored and relegated to the Widening Participation agenda, where the serious issues of classism, such as those set out above, tend not to be engaged with at all. We need to understand how this situation of the eliding and effacing of class has arisen and what needs to be done to confront it. My paper goes on to explore the possibility of the centrality of working- class academics in the critique of logocentrism within the academy and the possibility of exploring an ecology of classed relations. The paper asks how a different understanding of class as it is currently lived might help us in engaging with working- class students in higher education today and in the future. You kill me with your gentle oppression The subtle insinuation Working itself inside my mind Its lines flicker softly You cannot know how I got here and the incarcerating pain of survival. Try harder Keep going You tell me that was quite good but we still need more effort (Didn’t she do well, opening lyrics: Valerie Walkerdine)

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0159-6306
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 1 February 2020
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 15:26

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