Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Intellos Précaires

How does a journalist make ends meet? Are intellectuals the new proletarians?


kirkmc said...

Hmm, the first one sounds like a spoiled American middle-classer; can't make ends meet with EUR 5000 a month? Geez, I feel sorry for her.

A car in Paris? Fail!

kirkmc said...

As for the second, in most cases, those who choose to be freelancers do so knowing the advantages and disadvantages of working like that. (When I became a freelancer, I certainly didn't jump into it blind.)

It's worth noting - and, in fact, quite important to note - that those who work in and around publishing benefit from a system where they pay far lower "charges sociales" than other freelancers, like me. (It's called the Agessa, and it's a "caisse" for payroll takes for those involved in publishing.)

Anonymous said...

an excerpt from the second article link:
« Excessivement libéraux pour les analystes de gauche car ils se livrent à une concurrence sauvage dans un environnement largement déréglé, excessivement marginaux pour les analystes de droite qui voient en eux d'abord des opposants à la sacro-sainte culture d'entreprise. »

there are many ways the above quote taken from a book can be sparsed. I find it succinctly encompasses the point of view many in the ranks of vacataires (adjuncts) at universities who trend leftwards politically. their sorry plight, as well as that of other laborers who are members of the "creative class" is a result of many concurrent factors and circumstances. what is disappointing to see, and the excerpt is a case in point, is that very often the same old bugbear is pointed the finger again, namely "libéralisme", or Médef, the capitalist fatcats - THEM!
such generalizations laden with emotive buzz words ought not come from self-declared intellectuals.

I think, however, that there is also a good dose of self-pity and an attempt to make sense of their plight by inscribing it in the binary oppositions of class conflict. especially from ageing rebels who fled the suit & tie & the staid office environment for work in intellectually stimulating but poorly paid work.

note, however, that there is a prejudice prevalent among many (but not most!) in the managerial classes against the "khâgneux" - the scrawny types who read alot and go into the humanities, etc. this perhaps is a result of the sub-culture of the classes prépa which values business & engineering moreso than artsy-fartsy stuff.

for the khâgneux and the not-so-khâgneux-mais-tout-de-même-intello, there is a sense of entitlement - and frustration & anger at the realization that one's material standing is woefully below the social standing ascribed to one's diplomas & intellectual accomplishments. It's difficult to behold all the culturally-challenged "beaufs" do well materially all the while adhering to the sacro-saint corporate culture.

there's an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that is of similar interest, btw (deals only with adjuncts though)

Chris P.