Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Privilege Divide Clarified

The response to our recent post on privilege in post-ac has been animated and contentious. We've heard from folks experiencing the "divide" we described, and from detractors who disagreed with the content and purpose of the post. We briefly wanted to clarify our goals for the post.

First, mistake: "privilege" is a loaded word, and we regret using it in this context, as we can see that the focus of the discussion has been on that concept rather than the message we were trying to convey. What we hope is that active post-ac and alt-acers will recognize the relative ability of people quitting academia to access the resources and conversations essential to moving on. We hope that alt- and post-ac can be more inclusive and sensitive to this reality.

Second, error: we should have pointed out the resources that are freely available. VersatilePhD is a great resource. Vitae is growing and becoming more inclusive of post-ac materials, and is free. We are really glad these are out there. Props to both.

Twitter may be free, but it's not a democratic playground. There is relativity to access and presence on twitter. We would like to see other venues for engagement and networking that don't rely on 24/7 access to twitter. Twitter is great, but it has limitations. We're not condemning it (we use it) but hoping that as post-ac grows, its online presence diversifies.

We wish we'd framed our conversation more as our goals for -- hopes for -- post-ac as it flourishes and less as a critique that can be interpreted as "sour grapes" or just plain ignorant.

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