Tagged: Economics

What the F just happened? For my US friends, a long attempt to Brexplain

map of votes

Map of the votes from the BBC, comparing the 1975 and 2016 referendum results.

The vice provost dropped by again this morning. He asked how I was feeling. “Imagine how you are going to feel if Trump wins in November” I replied. “That’s how I’m feeling.”

Yesterday I wrote on this blog that I didn’t understand what was happening. But last night as I sat at home watching the results come in and drinking most of a bottle of cheap wine, I tried to figure it out.  I have a better answer now to the question my US friends keep asking me.

Bear with me. This is going to be long and personal. Continue reading

From PhD to Academic Administration Part One: how did I end up here?

Pied-Piper-of-Hamelin

Last night J jokingly called me the Pied Piper of Academia. Since finishing my PhD a couple of years ago, I’ve been working in university administration.

And since almost the first month in my new job, I’ve been asked by fellow grads for advice on the pros and cons of taking that step over to the dark side.

At first it was just people I knew.

Recently I’ve had emails from total strangers, referred to me by people I hardly know, asking if I’d have time to talk over coffee.

So as academic job application season swings around, I thought it might be worth a blog post.

In this first post I’ll give you some background on how I ended up making the decision to apply for an administrative job in the first place. In the next I’ll leap into the bit you’re probably more interested in: the pros and cons of making a side-ways move in the university if you’d always assumed you would be an academic.

My thoughts on this topic are based on my own limited experience and to a certain extent my ethnographic work on universities. But if you in a similar situation yourself, please chip in in the comments! Continue reading

Rise in mortality rates among white working class in the US

This morning several newspapers reported on a study by two economists from Princeton University into rising mortality rates among non-hispanic white men and women in the US since 1998. (Or to be more exact, the mortality rates have been decreasing everywhere, but the rate of that decrease has slowed to the point of stopping among this group).

The Guardian’s coverage, for instance, presents the study this way:

A sharp rise in death rates among white middle-aged Americans has claimed nearly as many lives in the past 15 years as the spread of Aids in the US, researchers have said.

The alarming trend, overlooked until now, has hit less-educated 45- to 54-year-olds the hardest, with no other groups in the US as affected and no similar declines seen in other rich countries.

Though not fully understood, the increased deaths are largely thought to be a result of more suicides and the misuse of drugs and alcohol, driven by easier access to powerful prescription painkillers, cheaper high quality heroin and greater financial stresses.

Continue reading