The Proletarianization of the Academy

  • Michael W Powelson California State University-Northridge; California State University-Channel Islands; Los Angeles Valley College
Keywords: proletarianization, economics, academics

Abstract

This article argues that just as manufacturing underwent a  process of 'proletarianization' so too has the academic world also undergone a process of 'proletarianization.' 

In the academic industry wages have been cut, workers have been laid off, work loads have been increased, and class size have increased dramatically over the past three decades. 

Thus, the academic industry does not function outside the captalist economy but rather is subject to the same dynamics that drive down wages and increase unemployment in the manufacturing sector.  

A major difference, however, is that while craft workers were replaced in manufacturing by relatively un-skilled wage workers, in the academic industry workers are expected tomaintain high levels of training and skills even as their wages have declined and their work load has increased.

Author Biography

Michael W Powelson, California State University-Northridge; California State University-Channel Islands; Los Angeles Valley College

I teach a variety of history classes 'part time' at three different colleges in the Los Angeles area--altogether I teach more than full time. 

I teach at: Calfornia State University-Northridge, California State University-Channel Islands, and Los Angeles Valley College

I have a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University

Published
2011-10-10