Knowledge Shouldn’t be a Privilege

Knowledge Shouldn’t be a Privilege

Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s “Working in Public”  lays out my dream world! All I have ever wanted is to merge the academic world with the every day one, because they are not as separate from each other as we tend to think, and in fact both would flourish even more if there were more spaces for them to listen, learn and grow from one another. This article resonated with me a great deal because I am the only one to have entered the world of higher education in my family, and only a few of my friends go or have gone to community college and experienced being in a space that values things like critical thinking, politics, constructive debate, etc. That’s not to say that some don’t take part in valuable discussions, but there is definitely a clear line between “fun talk” and meaningful, intelligent conversation. This is something I actively push back against which, as one can probably imagine, doesn’t always go over well when people are just trying to chill out after working, paying bills, taking care of children, etc. But I believe that if there is no active dialogue about things that are continuously discussed in higher education, then people create a divide between themselves and those who hold power, without realizing that they themselves wield more power (and knowledge) than they think. If there were more spaces that made academic discussions and collaborations widely available, it would a) make it a lot easier for people to find and interact with information, studies, and opinions without having to be enrolled in a college, and b) it would blend academic language and everyday talk in a way that didn’t make one seem more taboo than the other.

1 Comment

  1. I think you really captured the reason a lot of people, particularly “working-class” people don’t/can’t engage with academics, because people are “just trying to chill out after working, paying bills, taking care of children, etc.” That’s it. People who have to work to pay their bills, people who have families, and people who aren’t university students don’t have the time or resources to access the same information. It should be a responsibility of academics to help shape a system through which all people can access information, starting with affordable childcare and a universal basic income (the first steps and probably least radical of possible solutions). I also really like your comment about the separation between “fun talk” and intelligent conversation. Maybe we as a group could come up with some ways to blend the two a bit more, kinda like DTL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *