A fine hoax of attitudes towards adjuncts in the Chronicle
Bryan Alexander responds to Chronicle clickbait with all the gravitas it merits
Congratulations 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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