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Power, Corruption and Lies: Fighting the Class War to Widen Participation in Higher Education

Colin McCaig (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

The Lives of Working Class Academics

ISBN: 978-1-80117-058-1, eISBN: 978-1-80117-057-4

Publication date: 12 December 2022


Education is, or should be, a gateway to a better life, a better understanding of ourselves in a complex and hierarchical social world. As a political scientist from a working-class mature-student background I have been fortunate enough to build a career that not only celebrates and embodies the possibilities provided by educational access but also aims to highlight the staggering lengths the socially advantaged go to in their denial of educational opportunity for the vast majority of people from my background. Like all autoethnographies, I guess this contribution may seem an idiosyncratic take on working-class life and academia; it is at once a primal scream against ingrained classism we have to confront every day, but also a recognition of the intellectual pluralism and tolerance of academia that allows and rewards even members of the ‘awkward squad’ like me if we stick it out long enough. It is a rage against the machine, but hopefully, also a small step towards changing the definition of academia.



McCaig, C. (2022), "Power, Corruption and Lies: Fighting the Class War to Widen Participation in Higher Education", Reilly, I.B. (Ed.) The Lives of Working Class Academics, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 29-40.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Colin McCaig. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited