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The Tragedy of the Commons People: A Marmot View by Alex Dunedin


The Tragedy of the Commons People; A Marmot Overview. This presentation explores working class in terms of permissions and allowances. Making an analysis of classifications as forms of empirical topography rather than cultural insignia, this examines notions of how intersectionality and verticality play out in terms of recognition, valuation and dehumanisation.

Making use of Ann Cahill’s work on ‘derivatization’ as a means to move beyond objectification theories, it offers further explanatory power articulating the barriers and challenges met by those at the bottom of power differentials. Cahill’s work gives an essential means to recognizing the dehumanization psychology at work in forms of exploitation and which offers critical criteria to understanding what we do with our bodies, through our work and the ethics landscape we operate in.

This analysis is set out against the historical view of working classes and other peoples who are displaced from ancestral commons. These groupings of people have as a pre-requisit for subsistence the necessity of performing to the desires of a sanctioned hierarchy which offers permission and validation within the hierarchy. Without performing people are excluded.

The presentation looks at the lack of representation of performative peoples in history understanding how multiple outgroup signifiers intersect in the circumstance of an individual. This framework offers a sense of verticality in account of the non-homogeneous schemes which manifest in hierarchies within certain trends, such as lack of representation of women.

These ideas are plotted against the backdrop of Michael Marmot’s longitudinal work on ‘status syndrome’ which documents how the lower the status, the higher risk of illness and death, and consequently the shorter the life expectancy. The tragedy of the commons people is that if nobody is looking after the rights and welfare of commons people then they are depleted and spoiled through collective action.

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Ragged University is in partnership with the Working Class Academics conference sharing its ideals and love of open intellectual spaces

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