Thursday, 19 June 2014

Well that was a surprise

At the time of writing my last post has hit 520 hits, which is a massive surprise. As I mentioned in reply to the couple of comments I got, the post was actually set to auto-post on Saturday 14 June and I didn’t start publicising it until Sunday 15 June. The little fears that belittled me so much as Cambridge came back – I was terrified I’d be immediately shot down. My class-focused analysis would be shot down as pseudo-Bourdeuian nonsense; or the class hegemony of Oxbridge would rear its head and I’d be dismissed as just a person who had mental health problems in their twenties; loads of state school kids do well at Oxbridge and do well in life.

And, to be fair, I can’t pretend my qualifications haven’t helped me.

In fact the response was overwhelming and heart-warming. I received all manner of lovely tweets, emails and even Facebook messages from friends, colleagues and strangers, empathising with my experience, sharing their own stories of Oxbridge (and the similar elitism elsewhere) and offering me sympathy. So I just want to say, thank you all for these. It’s been wonderful and greatly appreciated.

I now feel a lot stronger. I’d like to think my blog post would do more than just offer me some consolation and reflection. It would be nice if Oxbridge did change. However, the main point I wanted to make in my blog was the classed nature of Oxbridge is manifest in the hierarchies, power, dominance and hegemony of British society. Therefore, I cannot see it changing anytime soon because it is so rooted in the class inequalities of British society. But just perhaps, some people will read it and some things might change; some people might examine their privilege and work to make Cambridge that bit more accessible and inclusive.

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