Blog Series: Social Class in the Workplace

Image of a drawing with two hands, with a hand on top cupping a group of people standing on the bottom hand.

If you're reading this blog, I would first like to thank you for your patience as we took the summer off in order to reconfigure posts and catch-up on other work. PIPEline is back with a regular posting schedule for the Fall term, beginning with its first blog series: Social Class in the Workplace. 

What do we mean by social class? As defined by the authors, social class will be explored as it relates to expectations within academia and how they affect our work in libraries. The blog posts in this series will touch on social class as a power structure that is embedded in academia and how they experience it as individuals. Within the next four posts, topics that will be touched upon include code-switching, relative wealth, culture shifting, tokenism, and hidden curriculums.

These are the individual stories of four people working in the library and will not touch upon all aspects of experiences related to social class. Through these posts, the authors hope that library employees will have a heightened awareness of these structures and recognize that due to the nature of our work, they may fade into the background over time. To be inclusive of not only new employees, but also the greater campus community, we need to be aware of these structures and if as we can, develop strategies to mitigate these issues to ensure everyone feels welcome.

This series will feature the first guest bloggers, who conceived of this idea and believed the PIPEline blog to be a perfect place to explore these topics. The posts are meant to build on the work first started by the Staff Forum, who broached this topic in one of their meetings last year. The first post will be posted in late-September and for the rest of the year a new post will be available each month.

If you would like to join the conversation, please free to leave a comment on the blog posts (there is the option post anonymously!), or reach out to each of the authors. If you’d like to share your own story through a blog post on PIPEline, please contact Sheila Garcia <gsheila@umich.edu>.