Blog posts

Don’t call me honky, gringo, white trash, part of the 99%—or, late for the party

In 2012, the Occupy Movement began in large part to challenge the power and wealth of corporations and Wall Street banks in the USA. The philosophy, or position of those involved, was a protest of the 99% versus the 1%. This is an interesting case study in Othering and appropriating social class to challenge the few who hold most of the wealth. However, little critical engagement exists as to whose voices and ideologies were actually being espoused. Ironically, the problematic poor and despised underclass were brought into the metaphorical 99 percent-fold. In the Occupy Movement moment, those who had the power to seize public spaces, and raise their placards in resistance to economic inequality, were able to capture the imagination of the media and general public. The 1% were demonized; the 99% were valorized.

It may seem odd to think of the Occupy Movement as case study of both Othering and appropriating voices and positions. However, those who occupy privileged class positions, who Other the poor and particularly the underclass, now presented a united front (i.e., we are all being oppressed by the 1%—in the same way). This faux solidarity continues to be a source of frustration for me. (I wonder what the Black feminist scholar Patricia Hill Collins would have to say about all of this?). The poor and underclass in this moment were no longer too tainted to get close to, at least metaphorically. It is highly debatable if those who are struggling daily to survive had Bourdieu’s capital (economic, cultural, social) to be able to challenge the establishment and state and physically and intellectually join the ranks in solidarity against the filthy rich elite individuals, corporations, and Wall Street banking institutions.

Imagine special public transit buses going to impoverished neighbourhoods to pick up the poor to go to Wall Street and protest. Imagine buses coming through identifying their location as “Destination Wall Street!”  Imagine “Join your brothers and sisters in placard-arms!” wailing from a loud speaker.

Imagine this conversation at Occupy Wall Street:

“What kinda sandwich you got there?” asks the despised poor.

“Hickory smoked ham and Gruyere cheese on artisanal bread. Oh, and I brought spring water with a hint of refreshing lemon,” says the despised upper class. “And you?”

“Baloney on Wonder bread. And I got grape Kool-Aid. Wanna trade?”

Taussig’s (2012) article I’m so Angry I Made a Sign, provides an anthropological account, or rather, conducts an “occupy ethnography,” (p. 57) of his time spent observing the Occupy Movement and capturing what was happening mainly from the numerous different protest signs. What Taussig fails to reflect upon is who is actually occupying Wall Street in sociological terms. Yes, the article shows very clever use of language to challenge the 1%. I find some of the signs very original, interesting, with wonderful usage of turns-of-phrases and wicked uses of language and rhetoric. For example:

  • Water board Wall St!;
  • We are the 99%;
  • We are too big to fail;
  • Image of a tie that is a noose;
  • I awoke in a sweat from the American Dream;
  • Down for good conversation;
  • Dear Mr. President: This is what hope looks like. Signed the 99 percent;
  • Lick my Goldman Sach’s! [signed] my money’s no where. 99%;
  • Obama tear down this wall.[1]

The images are reminiscent of the Vietnam War protests—sort of an idealized banding together for the greater common good—people with their Mountain Equipment tents and carefully packed knapsacks—singing revolutionary songs. Yet, in these moments, the voices of the 99% were most likely in actuality the voices of the, for example, 30%. But the 30% versus the 1% just does not carry the same political force, nor sound as groovy on signs. Further, the Occupy Movement, for those living a subsistence existence, I imagine was extremely foreign and exclusionary. “You’re mad at the 1%? Guess what? We’re the other bookend!” I know poverty—and, I have the privilege of being able to critically think about this crusade. What Taussig fails to capture (not that this was necessarily his intent in the first place) is the complex class divides and historical contexts for inequality. In this movement, were not the chronically impoverished silenced and further Othered? Their voices were appropriated but they were not actually invited to the party. Those that possess the right capital were representative, both in occupying geographic spaces and ideologies, of the entire 99%. They became the face of social justice. They became symbolic of responsible citizens willing to risk it “all” to challenge those who hold the economic might of a nation. The bodies of the lower and under classes were out-of-the-way—their messy and dirty lived experiences were silenced.

I am trying to imagine busloads of Welfare-dependent, single mothers arriving with their questionable morals and values and snotty-nosed kids in tow to Wall Street. I am trying to imagine hoards of White Trash invading this highly privileged space and protest (bell hooks would have a stroke as she abhors White Trash because they have the audacity to live anywhere!). I am trying to imagine those from intergenerational poverty arriving with their belongings in black garbage bags and reams of cardboard tucked under their arms to make temporary shelters versus the privileged who can afford to make political statements by using cardboard for make-shift tents (may I suggest that there was play involved versus the underprivileged who could see cardboard, temporary housing as hitting a little to close to home). On carefully constructed cardboard tents (versus the poor’s haphazard designs), highly-charged signs decorating architecturally crafty doors and windows reading, “Wall Street Bought Me These Walls!” I can imagine fighting within the 99% ranks and this could not be tolerated—or, allowed: nothing could detract from the attack on the 1%. I imagine the pseudo-99% representatives at play in this temporary world that is a low-stakes game.

When one examines the photographs Taussig has included in his article, you see a great number of white people doing crafts, putting their own unique signature on the movement. Perhaps this makes sense because Wall Street is portrayed in the media and in entertainment as an industry dominated by white males (which it undoubtedly is). Who can relate to whites? While a rhetorical question, who appears to be excluded from this movement are those who suffer greatest in socially injustice societies: non-whites, people with precarious immigration status, single mothers, the elderly, impoverished children, and the mentally and physically disabled. Would their presence and voices make things too messy and nuanced? I believe that these groups are Othered because of their exclusion and the appropriation of their population numbers (i.e., so it is the 99% not the 30%). Once everyone was lumped in together with the 99%, were the non-dominant and non-privileged groups implicitly and explicitly Othered because they do not fit? I do not think they could be Bourdieu and Champagne’s (1999) outcasts on in the inside because how could they be on the inside (p. 421)? It takes a certain position of privilege and holding of the various forms of capital to be able to risk standing up not only to institutions and governments but also to the police. The whole movement and 99%-1% rhetoric feels incredibly patronizing: yet again, the privileged demonstrating that they must stand up for the Others (e.g., see Figure 3, the white man holding the “Decolonize Wall Street” sign, Taussig 2012, p. 59).

To understand how privileged and Othering this supposedly world-wide social justice movement was, consider Taussig’s (2012) explanation of the signs:

It is the handmadeness of the signs, their artisanal crudity, art before the age of mechanical and digital reproduction, that facilitates this hop, skip, and jump. To Nancy Goldring, who took many of these photographs, it seems as if this graven quality comes from the sign being exactly what the sign bearer wants to say. Put another way, there is a fusion between the person and the sign that demands it being held aloft as testimony to history finding its articulation in words—words that play with words as much as with history. The sign has a talismanic function, an incantatory drive, and is of divine inspiration, the gods in this case being of mirthful disposition, feeling quite at home in the park. (p. 76)

Huh? Why does this sound like a graduate fine arts analysis of dead, white, European, male art? If indeed the signs were playing with history, it is a history that ignores those who are Othered and oppressed. To even be aware there is a Wall Street and what these words connotate for different individuals and groups requires a deep understanding of structural—and, historical—reasons for inequality. I see no evidence of an understanding of intersectionality. No evidence that social class cuts across all other social categories; or the understanding that not all whites experience this or that the same. I see only Dorothy Smith’s standpoint of a select, homogenized group. For those who have the privilege to occupy, they become the poster child for what a good citizen is thereby, Othering those who lack the ability to participate in citizenship in this manner.

I must admit an uncomfortable truth: when this article was first presented in an early sociology class, at first blush I was captured and enthralled by the cleverness of the words, symbols, and images on signs. As with my fellow classmates and instructor, we had no critical sociological conversation any more than the Occupy movers were “down for good conversation” (see figure 13, Taussig 2012, 74). After many readings and approaching Taussig’s article from an Othering perspective, I become increasingly frustrated—and, worried I am just ranting and beating my head against literal and figurative walls. Yet again, a few years ago at a sociology graduate conference a student presented their research-in-progress on the Occupy Wall Street movement. I asked the student about all-inclusive 99%. They stated that this was “another story.” No, it is the story.

Further, the demonizing of Wall Street, which I argue is a vague, abstract concept of power, privilege, and oppression, Others those who do not have access to these forms of knowledge. For those who do not have the luxury of finding Wall Street on a map and the imposing buildings looming towards the heavens, with well-tailored Harvard-looking people ebbing and flowing, and FBI-agent looking guards (complete with ear pieces and other James Bond paraphernalia) protecting the significant occupants and buildings, it would be easier to visit Mars. The Others cannot make it a point to visit Wall Street, stop in for tea, or have picnics in the parks surrounding these economic fortresses. Those who do not fit cannot come to the party (and I suggest did not get an invite) and therefore, are Othered because they are either with “us” and “our” ideologies and lived experiences—or, are the Other. How can they be with “us?”

I do not want you to call me honky, gringo, white trash, part of the 99%—or, late for the party. (But do I really want to go to your party?) I am not going to appropriate these terms because then I will be silencing you and imposing my own lived experiences, ideologies, and intersectionality upon you. If I appropriate any of these terms and ideas then I position myself as representative of a homogenized group. I will Other by reducing and stripping lives of their complexities. I will Other by failing to acknowledge historical and social reasons for your experiences. I will Other by failing to understand how lives are shaped by intersectionality. I will Other by failing to acknowledge my positions of privilege and honouring positions where I lack privilege.

As it is, I find myself Othering those who I perceive as privileged to claim the voice of the entire 99%. I’m so angry, but I didn’t make a sign.

Bourdieu, P., & Champagne, P. (1999). Outcasts on the Inside. In P. Parkhurst Ferguson, S. Emanuel, J. Johnson, & S. T. Waryn (Trans.), The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society (pp. 421–26). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Taussig, M. (2012). I’m so Angry I Made a Sign. Critical Inquiry, 39(1), 56–88.

  1. Othering involves more than semantic labelling. Comment on the processes of othering. Who labels whom as the other and what processes are then imposed on the other? Note the paradoxes: e.g. a person can be both the otherer and the othered. Consider the anthropologist studying an other culture who is defined by that culture as the other. Consider the complexities involved in “going native” as a person attempts to shed the label of other. Consider the implications of being labelled an apple, banana, oreo, egg, etc. Consider the working poor who despise the rich but are also despised by the rich. What counters othering (e.g. the diversity is good narrative, multiculturalism, equality narratives, etc)?

A definitive etymology of Other[2], Othered, and Othering is elusive; statements using these terms were “originally coined within post-colonial theory” (see Jensen 2011 sans citation) are ubiquitous in scholarly writing.[3] I suggest that while the term may have originated during this period, the ideologies and practices of Other, Othered, and Othering have a long, rich history.


December 8, 2020

Honestly, women

Honestly, have you ever travelled to the wrong side of the social class tracks margins?

Do you even know, beyond academic literature, these margins exist?

Would you live in these margins?

Would you work in these margins?

Do you want to know the rich mosaic of knowledges and wisdom created in these margins? Knowledges that never find their way out of the margins?

Do you want to experience how underclass women’s lives are lived and experienced in the shadows and margins of landscapes?

Do you want to see past the stereotypes and caricatures you think live and work in these classed-margins?

Honestly, women, masses of us have been living and working in the margins across generations.

We don’t get to live or work at the margins

Honestly, women

Maybe we don’t want to be in your margins

or live or work at your margins


Happily ever after, now

I used to live in the shadows and margins of the education landscape

cloaked in pain and shame

Fear of being outed and ousted

And then I was





Today, as I compose my life, I jump out and scream and shout

Then I happily go back to the shadows and margins

Happily ever after, now

i have the right to claim me

by Elaine J Laberge, Oct 1, 2020

“I am” includes all that has made me so. It is more than a statement of immediate fact: it is already biographical. (John Berger)1

i am my mother. i am my great aunty. i am the generations of women before me. i am shaped by an unknown lineage of women whose lives were erased and discounted before they were born. i am embodied in my mother’s hands:

A student says, “Aren’t you ashamed of your hands? They look so old!” The only sound her shocked, indrawn breath. The visible signs of her pain and shame is the stiffening of her shoulders, the tightening of her jaw, the infusion of a red slash across her cheekbones, just under her sunken, saddened eyes, and the heat that envelopes her ears surrounded by a close-crop haircut. She clenches her hands into fists so no one can see inside. She didn’t know her hands were weathered and old before their time until she entered onto the higher education landscape.

My red worn hands are symbolic of a life shaped by the violence of colonial classism and enforced generational poverty. How often I despised my mother’s hands. They were beaten red and calloused. They felt like sandpaper. They looked like dried jerky; I have my mother’s hands:

I scru​​b my skin raw, but I can’t wash away the stain of poverty. It’s deeply embedded in my self-identity. The shame was bearable until university—a place I believed was never meant for people like her. Now, I live in fear of being outed and ousted.

This is part of my story. As a child, I struggled silently against the relentless burn of hunger and uncertainty. I scavenged on my rural childhood landscape to silence the sting of emptiness. I wished school might offer me a place for sanctuary and escape; however, solace was elusive. I sensed there was no space for me in education: I was Other. I was labelled as deficit and not worthy of an education. I was storied as unable and unfit to learn before entering grade one. On many landscapes, I was that girl from that family destined to become another one of those girls. I learned early on not to trust educational spaces. I learned how to work and survive but never thrive. I silently accepted damaging assessments and (mis)recognitions. Today, the transient life i am living in university continues to be shaped by my experiences of growing up in poverty and relentless class-based discrimination. The challenges I face in this place are daunting—and, often lived silently in the shadows and margins. Yet….

am an underclass woman who dares—dares to be as popular as a mosquito bite—and, dares to be the elephant in the room. I dare to cross over the wrong side of the social class tracks to access a university education with a culture not meant for people like me. I dare to challenge the eurocentric dogma that poverty-class students’ lived experiences are inconsequential and merely anecdotes. I dare to suggest that the dismissal of ancestral and kinship knowledge of students from a poverty-class heritage is violence. I dare to make the echoes of intergenerational poverty and poverty discrimination reverberate. I dare a lot for those who came before me, those couldn’t come before me, those who were pushed out, those I walk alongside and those who might come after me. I dare to centre social class in intersectional decolonizing work. I dare to make visible how Canadian universities perpetuate class elitism and generational poverty. I dare to push the privileged pillars of Canadian universities. I dare to imagine otherwise for the underclass Other. I dare a lot. i am not a dare devil; am afraid, a lot.

i am (mis)recognized by acronyms, shorthand, air quotes, monikers, slurs, binaries and gendered slams: low SES, first gen, SES “disadvantaged,” white trash, dangerous Other, moral outcast, deserving–undeserving poor, and welfare queen. Plus, the breadth of subject-descriptors am subjected to: revolting, disgusting, illegitimate, wasteful, pointless, and useless. Simultaneously, i am supposed to: 1) Erase my not quite white identity2 and my poverty-class heritage, 2) Hide the shameful secret of coming from poverty in the pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ closet, 3) Assimilate into the middle-class higher education culture. Identity erasure, in order to pretend to be the right kind of colonial citizen, worthy of anything including an education, manifests in a multitude of ways that decimates individuals, families and communities across generations.

i am knocking on the door—every door

i am not one-dimensional, a singular story or a classed cliché. This is not the end of my story or the story. Colonial class-based narratives, myths, fairy tales and dogmas must be interrupted—turned inside out and upside down. Every day, I rail (some would say like a mosquito in your ear), “How much longer shall we go on cloaked in the faux security of the myth of the classless society? Unchecked structural inequality and inequity is killing us!” For the most part, I am swatted away; I keep coming back like a pest. You might ask, “Why bother?” Well, classism is one of the central pillars this nation was colonized upon, yet, social class continues to be ignored. So, the individual is blamed and pathologized while ignoring the structural reasons for historic and ongoing poverty discrimination. The result? A swath is cut through the population who thus, remain disenfranchised, neglected, excluded and erased—and, unable to contribute to creating a healthy decolonized society. Further, even though education is crucial to mitigate (generational) poverty, the underclass continue to be excluded and punished in overt, hidden, and insidious ways. Inclusion too often equates to assimilation! Moreover, class-void equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and decolonization strategies create social characteristic silos (e.g., gender and race versus sexual orientation and ablebodiedness), thus, homogenizing folks and dividing categories of people. How, without a critical understanding of the intersections of oppression and identity—including social class—can we possibly tackle systemic poverty, racism, sexism and ableism? This is why, before, during and after my MA, I have been knocking on the door—every door—using story, poetry, playwriting, creative non-fiction and in the trenches talks to make visible why we all need to care about poverty and the reverberations of colonial classism. But it’s not enough to reach one person at a time. This knowledge mobilization approach creates ripples, however, an interactive, engaging and accessible broader approach is needed for my doctoral research and knowledge mobilization—digital storytelling.

i am part of creating new stories to live by

i am a collaborator, community-builder, connector, advocate and occasionally a fearless social justice warrior. Concretely put, my research and knowledge mobilization…. Well, it’s got to mean something beyond me. And, just as importantly, there are so many folks waiting to hear stories that help to unpack social class, understand inequality and inequity through a class-based lens and experience how things must be and can be different. Stories of systemic poverty violence must not continue to be ignored, silenced and overshadowed. Canada’s colonial social class hierarchy kills lives, families, communities and hopes and dreams. Yet, in order to create new stories to live by, first, we have to tell and hear the stories of past and present. Digital storytelling holds profound potential to be healing, empowering, evocative and fundamental to combat systemic discrimination and injustice.

i am not a success story or a poster child for anything. I suppose the only adjectives that describe me are tenacious and innovative. i am part of a burgeoning grassroots underclass sisterhood of solidarity movement in Canada. Through storytelling, we’re audacious. We’re learning to reframe how we’re storied by the centre—by Power. We’re kicking the mis and brackets out of (mis)recognition. We’re (re)discovering and (re)claiming the amazingness of ancestral and kinship knowledge and heritage. But it’s hard. Coming out of the social underclass closet is dangerous and the violence is swift. Unpacking the colonial class-based narratives planted in us is painful. Not all women from a poverty-class heritage have the capacity to tackle any or all of this. I do. I mean, I do, with community and this includes learning alongside fellow students and mentors. My contribution is not to speak for others, appropriate or co-opt stories that are not mine or mine to tell or colonial white-wash, exploit or sensationalize lived experiences. What I will bring to the Digital Storytelling Research Project is simply a critical and relational way of understanding and approaching identity, belonging and hope for an equitable and just society. i am also a whole lot of radical imagination.

Elaine J Laberge is a Phd Candidate/ABD in the Faculty of Education at the Univerity of Victoria. She is a Vanier Scholar (2018-2021) and will be completing her doctorate in August 2021. Her research is at

Contact Elaine



Thank you to Tara Brabazon, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, who came up with the mascara title, “i have the right to claim me” on the spot

1.               Steedman, C. K. (1987). Landscape for a Good Woman. Rutgers University Press.

2.               Wray, M. (2006). Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness. Duke University Press.

No landscape for a good underclass woman

by Elaine Jean Laberge

Presented at the First International Working Class Academics Conference

July 2020

LINK to watch the session:

Formatted PDF of the poem  

i scrub
i scrub
my skin raw
but i can’t wash away the stain of poverty


i scrub my skin with my red-worn hands
Ruthlessly with
academic journals

i scrub my skin
with theorists
Sociological colonial patriarchal
theories tangle
into a mish-mash of
barbed wire

my confidence
my creativity
Is destroyed
like metal scratching pads on slick shiny teflon
looks like the teflon frying pans
dumped (off)
at the corporate faux-charitable Value Village
don’t pay my tuition — my rent
don’t contribute to my retirement
don’t give me hope — even for a break

i scald my soul
the analytical
the theoretical
the generalizable
the unchangeable
But i can’t wash away the stain of poverty

i came out of the social underclass closet
on the Canadian higher education landscape
my skin
my body
my entire being
as a one-dimensional woman (Power, 2009)

Stigma (Goffman, 1963, 1959; Tyler, 2018)
Other Othered Othering

Caste in a box
Outsider within (Bourdieu & Champagne, 1999)
Outsider without
we’re the “wretched of the earth” (Fanon, 2004)

we’re many subjects
revolting (Tyler, 2013)
disgusting (Lawler, 2005)
illegitimate (Haylett, 2001)
wasteful useless pointless

A disposable population
Moral outcasts
The underclass
Marx’s hated lumpenproletariat

The unwashed
The lower classes that smell (Orwell, 1963)
The hated, despised, ridiculed white trash
The deserving—undeserving
battled out in the centre
while we live in the shadows and margins

You degrade me
call me (and my ancestors) white trash (Wray, 2013, 2006)
and then y’all hold white trash-themed parties

welfare queens
where’re the Welfare Kings?

We’re stigma machines (Tyler, 2017)
“Branded with infamy” (Adair, 2008, 2001)

Leaves me with bruises
a bloodied bloody mess
of bruise-stained hurts

my knees are shot to shit
from trying to cross the wrong side of the social class tracks
“Stay in your lane!”
you say

Slivers that crowbars
can’t dislodge
from trying
to climb the broken class ladder
“Back down to the bottom rung from whence you came!”
you say

You offer up
your stick and barbed-wire encrusted carrot
bury me alive and dead
with sufforacating student loans
generously topped up with your interest compounded daily

“Squandering our riches,”
you say
“You squander our richness,”
we don’t say

How many students are homeless?
no one knows
not yet considered an epidemic
might be another academic-career-booster
Canadian taxpayer-funded academic research topic

How many students go hungry?
no one knows
just another epidemic maybe?
just another oh-this-has-potential
Canadian taxpayer-funded academic research topic

How many students are from poverty?
no one knows no one cares to know
we’re not supposed to be here are we here?
poverty’s not considered an epidemic
never gonna be another
Canadian taxpayer-funded academic research topic

Poverty intergenerational poverty
it’s deeply embedded in my self-identity
part of my embodied being (Laberge, 2017; Adair, 2001)

The shame was bearable until university
a place I believed was never
meant for people like me
i lived in fear
of being
on being outed and ousted

and then i was outed of the social underclass closet

and then i was ousted
pushed out
as a doctoral student
as a Vanier scholar
from my beloved discipline sociology
from my belief in Otherwise (Laberge, 2017; Elbow, 2008)
from within

of imagining Otherwise (Green, 1995)
because i imagined Otherwise

because i dared to critique
The abusers
The users
The faux-teachers
The faux-social justice advocates
The faux-equity, diversity, inclusion leaders
The ignorers deniers
of social class
inequality inequity

Jacked-up capitalism
Rabid neoliberalism
Servitude neofeudism
150+ years of colonialism
Relentless burgenoning —isms
—in Canadian university institutions
shhh there’s no classism no social stratification

Maya Angelou (1978)
yes, i still rise
but, i will move along

and you Canadian universities
you need to hear this
I’m no learned lemming
I’ve always been a moth to an injustice flame
I’ve never walked quietly
I’ll make a fuss
but I won’t go over the cliff without causing a ruckus
but I’m leaving


Canadian universities
Your education promised a way out of poverty
Your venerated piece of paper
lauded as the great equalizer


You broke your promise (Adair, 2001)
You continue to break your promise

“Your” taxpayer-funded Canadian university
It’s no “landscape for a good [underclass] woman” (Steedman, 1987)

Works Cited
Indigenous territorial map:
Adair, V. (2001a). Branded with Infamy: Inscriptions of Poverty and Class in the United States. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 27(2), 451–471.
Adair, V. (2001b). Poverty and the (Broken) Promise of Higher Education. Harvard Educational Review, 71(2), 217–239.
Angelou, M. (1978). Still I rise. Retrieved from Poetry Foundation website: https://www.poetryfoundation. Bourdieu, P., & Champagne, P. (1999). Outcasts on the Inside. In P. Parkhurst Ferguson, S. Emanuel, J. Johnson, & S. T. Waryn (Trans.), The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society (pp. 421–426). Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Elbow, P. (2008). The Believing Game—Methodological Believing. English Department Faculty Publication Series, 5, 1–11. Retrieved from
Fanon, F. (2004). The wretched of the earth (R. Philcox, Trans.). New York: Grove Press.
Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life (First). New York: Anchor Books.
Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Haylett, C. (2001). Illegitimate subjects?: Abject whites, neoliberal modernism, and middle-class multiculturalism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 19(3), 351–370.
Laberge, E. (2017). The reverberations of childhood poverty: Composing lives in higher education (Unpublished thesis (MA)). University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Lawler, S. (2005). Disgusted subjects: The making of middle-class identities. The Sociological Review, 53(3), 429–446.
Orwell, G. (1963). The Lower Classes Smell. In L. A. Coser (Ed.), Sociology through Literature: An Introductory Reader (pp. 145–149). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Power, N. (2009). One dimensional woman. Washington: Zero Books.
Steedman, C. K. (1987). Landscape for a Good Woman. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Swanson, J. (2004). Poor-Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion. Toronto: Between the Lines.
Tyler, I. (2013). Revolting subjects: Social abjection and resistance in neoliberal Britain. New York: Zed Books.
Tyler, I. (2018). Resituating Goffman: From stigma power to black power. The Sociological Review, 66(4), 744–765.
Tyler, I. (2017). From Revolting Subjects to Stigma Machines [Academic]. Retrieved November 3, 2017, from The Stigma Doctrine website:
Wray, M. (2013, June 21). White Trash: The Social Origins of a Stigmatype. The Society Pages: Social Science That Matters.
Wray, M. (2006). Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness. Duke University Press.


Elaine J Laberge

July 23, 2020

I’m     silenced    banging my head    ouch!


Punishing me    myself            before you do

To hurry up and tell

My learning

My awakening

My inquiry through writing

The expectation of the academic violence is forgotten

The academic violence is forgotten

My soul is just a whiteboard

Not even a just get over it

No time for wonder    exploration in the stacks

solo learning

Seems like         “get out”

I’ve never had a voice like this

Now thistles being thrust down my throat

Rasping—hear the methodology story

takes            time                    sorry

You can fail me

No one looks like me

I’m an academic orphan