Corporatocracy and the McDonaldization of Work in Higher Education

In the fifth segment of the fantastic book Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell paints a picture of a future in “Corprocratic” (and post-apocalyptic) Neo Seoul, where its bored, spoiled citizens thrive on gallerias and franchises and are legally required to consume products. In Mitchell’s rationalized future, a surplus of deskilled “fabricants” perform the grunt labor of … Continue reading Corporatocracy and the McDonaldization of Work in Higher Education

When the Red Ink Stops Flowing

A few weeks ago, I lamented that academia has turned out not to be what I expected. Since I posted that blog, many of my colleagues have approached me about their own experiences in academia, I've been inundated with emails from folks sending stories similar to the one I wrote about, and even sat down … Continue reading When the Red Ink Stops Flowing

Mother Hens and Nice Girls: How Gender and Class Show Up at Work

"My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a perpetual state of childhood, unable to stand alone." -Mary Wollstonecraft Since writing about class and feminism here a couple of weeks ago, I've been booked … Continue reading Mother Hens and Nice Girls: How Gender and Class Show Up at Work

Second-class PhD

"I never thought I'd be a second class citizen," he lamented. "Where I come from, education is the most important thing. A man with a PhD is respected, listened to." He shook his head gravely. "What did I do to cause such treatment, that I wouldn't be listened to by my colleagues?" He dug a … Continue reading Second-class PhD

The Toothache

“The Toothache” is excerpted from Marianne Paiva’s book Breathe: Essays from a Recovering Paramedic which tells of her life as a paramedic in rural areas of northern California in the 1990s. This particular story tells of the time she was called to take a man by ambulance with a toothache to the emergency room at … Continue reading The Toothache

Are Indexes Obsolete?

I’ve spent the last two days indexing our new book on Max Weber’s sociology. I am doing it the old-fashioned way, just as it has been done since, well, the 1990s or so. Which means I have a Word document open on my desktop and go through the document on a hard copy page by … Continue reading Are Indexes Obsolete?

Adjuncts Unite!

In a recent response to Tony’s piece describing the "three gifts of tenure" that I posted on LinkedIn (in my Sociology of Education group) a commenter said this: "The treatment of adjuncts is a national crime perpetrated on our education system and the unsuspecting public. Adjuncts receive about a third of the salary/benefits for the same … Continue reading Adjuncts Unite!

“I’m Sorry, Next Semester We Do Not Have Any Classes For You!”

The Three Gifts of Tenure I will say it up front. Tenure is cool, and the opposite, “contingent” employment, really sucks. I was an adjunct for about two years in the 1990s, and I know from first hand experience that it sucked. Why? Well there were a couple of reasons. First, was that I was … Continue reading “I’m Sorry, Next Semester We Do Not Have Any Classes For You!”

Is Your Professor also a Waitress or in Retail?

The crisis in college teaching is old hat on blogs like this. The professoriate is divided into a two tiered system, in which one group-the tenure track-has the good fortune to have job security and a decent salary, while an often-time larger groups has only semester-to-semester job security, and a part-time teaching gig which may … Continue reading Is Your Professor also a Waitress or in Retail?

How Working at a Community College is Like Working Retail

Originally published at classism.org in October 2011   Expectations are a pain in the ass. There’s an old saying, “plant an expectation, reap a disappointment.”  Yep I did it, planted and am now disappointed. I teach Sociology at a rural community college; I love teaching, but I don’t love that adjunct teachers like me are … Continue reading How Working at a Community College is Like Working Retail

Don’t Worry, Be Happy, and Get Tenure

Here is an interesting new take on the nature of the tenure track that just came out from a (former) Assistant Professor at Harvard.  In essence:  Don't worry, be happy, work smart, and its not always necessary to answer your email right away. I would appreciate this article more if the author had not gotten … Continue reading Don’t Worry, Be Happy, and Get Tenure