I bought The Professor Is In by Karen Kelsky, a terrifying book full of blunt (and much needed) advice about navigating the academic job market. While the author gives outspoken advice about the struggles of the job market, particularly for women, she also implicitly argues for the importance of hiding one’s class. She wrote about clothing and makeup and speaking patterns in women. Around the time I read this book, I realized that I, for a lack of a better term, code “white trash.” I have bad teeth, frequently say “ya’ll” and “how come,” and have a habit of running around South Philadelphia in a Dale Earnhardt Jr. t-shirt. It is one thing to have your hometown judged by your peers, but it is quite another to realize that qualities you possess, habits born of a lifetime that you don’t even realize you have, make you read as unqualified or unfit for your chosen profession.
But you can’t go home either, as they say. The more formal education I acquired, the larger the gap between my family and I became.
"The Coding of 'White Trash' in Academia"
A lady named Holly Genovese has some thoughts.
By Grim on Tuesday, March 21, 2017