The full version of an article by Martin Eve and Jennifer Jones on the Guardian website last week. Makes for superb reading, particularly this bit which stood out to me after a year of teaching 5 undergraduate seminars a week:
The PhD sits at the eye of this whirlwind of commodification, poised as it is between the student and faculty worlds. Indeed, the postgraduate is firstly cast as student-consumer, then held to ransom as researcher-producer until finally, as with other internships, the PhD candidate is expected to build a teaching portfolio at an extremely poor rate, with few employment protections and expected instead to revere their privileged participation in the academic sphere. Given this, PhD students are among the best poised to perceive these deficiencies in academia: they are the least preconditioned and the most likely to suffer because of them. However, they are also the least empowered to effect practical change. Perceiving the differences is only the start, however. How could disempowered postgraduates influence the extremely hierarchical world of academia?