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Elitism Encoded within University Settings

Like many students, I started to search for the courses with the clearest, most rigid grading criteria. “Writing” became a euphemism in my experience for “cultural awareness” in a white-upper-middle class sense. There were two versions of this, one that required you understand the self-assured confidence white-collar parents teach their children and the other was the over-coming marginalization narrative, composed in the language of that managerial class.

Writing scared me because it then meant a good grade was linked to words and phrases I would never had heard as a child and had not mastered. Writing meant knowing the norms of a culture to which I did not belong. Writing was part of this: 

University of Cincinnati psychologist Shane Gibbons, who has researched this topic and counsels first-generation students, said these students are often raised by parents who have working class jobs — and in those work places, being as…

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