A fine hoax of attitudes towards adjuncts in the Chronicle

by VanessaVaile

Bryan Alexander responds to Chronicle clickbait with all the gravitas it merits

Bryan Alexander

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERACongratulations to the Chronicle of Higher Education for running a very convincing hoax. They recently published a “letter to the editor”, entitled “Is That Whining Adjunct Someone We Want Teaching Our Young?” It’s a terrific attempt to mimic the attitude of academics who deeply, thoroughly disdain adjuncts.

The spoof has many fine qualities:

  • Intergenerational attitude.  The “author” cites her many years of experience and implicit age (“I have had full-time employment with benefits both inside and outside working in academia for over 30 years”), in order to set up an unfavorable contrast with younger adjuncts (“we do live in a new world where every child is special”, “society has raised a bunch of entitled young adults who claim to be victimized”, “our new generation of graduates”).  Adjuncts’ youth matters a great deal here, since it lets the author speak from greater experience, wisdom, and hierarchical position. Intergenerational conflict within academia…

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