Do elite universities turn people into arrogant, entitled brats? Watch

jkls92
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"If you can't afford a ticket for the May Ball, you can work there instead - while a student who sat two seats away from you in an exam last week can now demand of you to 'come straight to me when the next tray of sushi arrives'"

"[the] tyranny of tradition at institutions like Oxford and Cambridge were being used to prop up the class system in this country."

"While I by no means came from a disadvantaged background, prior to university I had only worn a suit twice. But after about a year, wearing a suit no longer held the same resonance it had back in fresher's week. Being served food by people the same age as me was no longer embarrassing. Spending £130 on a May Ball no longer made me wince. Herein lies the problem. While by no means the majority of students enter Oxford and Cambridge as entitled little brats, the dominant culture normalises a particular attitude which means many of them may leave changed."

"And with that flourish, at just over £160 a night, I saw how extreme privilege becomes normalised. For these people, Cambridge is socialising them into entitled sociopaths, people who feel at home swigging champagne from the bottle while billions of pounds are cut from society's most needy."


Personally, before coming to uni I had worn a suit on several occasions, already had a thing for champagne and participated in lavish parties. The first day of freshers cost me 250 (or more), while I was slightly surprised, I wasn’t concerned: it immediately felt natural, part of growing up. Wearing a suit became extremely frequent and therefore totally normal. Dining or partying with champagne is the rule rather than the exception. I see nothing strange with paying 100-200+ for an event, and was therefore very surprised when I heard/read someone say he couldn’t spend 30 for a concert.

I was also used to the association of intelligence - privilege/entitlement from school so that feeling ("we are the smartest in the country, we deserve it") wasn't new to me. However, I can see how for people who don't come from elite schools it's an institutionalisation and normalisation of an attitude of entitlement and superiority.

While the article doesn’t reflect my views and I see nothing wrong in things like being used to wear a suit (it’s a standard requirement in many professions), I think the author may have a point.
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yudothis
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Is this even a surprise?

Of course the author is spot on.
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jkls92
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(Original post by yudothis)
Is this even a surprise?

Of course the author is spot on.
I never consciously thought about it.

Isn't this also positive social mobility? A university that gets everyone (from the Bullingdon boy to the bursary scholar) used to wearing a suit, attending black tie events, formal dining, high-income expectations, "exclusive" sports, etc?

I understand the result is a dissociation from average life, but since this reality is one of misery, isn't that actually better?
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yudothis
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
I never consciously thought about it.

Isn't this also positive social mobility? A university that gets everyone (from the Bullingdon boy to the bursary scholar) used to wearing a suit, attending black tie events, formal dining, high-income expectations, "exclusive" sports, etc?

I understand the result is a dissociation from average life, but since this reality is one of misery, isn't that actually better?
It still creates an elite. And elite that feels entitled. Much like you seem to feel like. You realize something is different for you than others, but here you are, trying to justify it.

Personally I was offended by such behavior and chose not to partake. Although I suppose at Oxbridge staying away from such things is harder.

In addition, I am sorry but that whole "used to wearing a suit" - what kind of bs argument is that? What does it even mean? I wore a suit for school already. People I work with didn't but had no problem starting to when starting work.
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unknown_usr
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This is painfully true. At my school, there's definitely the attitude of 'we can afford it, we're the cleverest, we deserve it'. I think people like them (us...?) are just so separated and living away from real suffering (me less so, because of where my parents live, but it's obvious in my peers) that real struggles or 'real' people become something unreal to them (again, us...?)
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jkls92
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(Original post by unknown_usr)
This is painfully true. At my school, there's definitely the attitude of 'we can afford it, we're the cleverest, we deserve it'. I think people like them (us...?) are just so separated and living away from real suffering (me less so, because of where my parents live, but it's obvious in my peers) that real struggles or 'real' people become something unreal to them (again, us...?)
That's exactly the attitude I was talking about.
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jkls92
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It comes from another website and was only reblogged by the independent I think
(Original post by Mathemagicien)
A surprisingly well written article by the Independent.

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jkls92
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(Original post by yudothis)
It still creates an elite. And elite that feels entitled. Much like you seem to feel like. You realize something is different for you than others, but here you are, trying to justify it.

Personally I was offended by such behavior and chose not to partake. Although I suppose at Oxbridge staying away from such things is harder.

In addition, I am sorry but that whole "used to wearing a suit" - what kind of bs argument is that? What does it even mean? I wore a suit for school already. People I work with didn't but had no problem starting to when starting work.
It's something the author wrote in the extended article, that he became used to wearing a suit at uni. I don't think there's anything wrong, it's actually positive because you become comfortable (if you already aren't), learn the formal rules and fashion trends/tradition etc
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yudothis
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
It's something the author wrote in the extended article, that he became used to wearing a suit at uni. I don't think there's anything wrong, it's actually positive because you become comfortable (if you already aren't), learn the formal rules and fashion trends/tradition etc
But that's my point - so ****ing what if he became used to it at uni? It means nothing. Other than that he is a snob if he thinks one must wear a suit to impress. What's the point of this?
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jkls92
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(Original post by yudothis)
But that's my point - so ****ing what if he became used to it at uni? It means nothing. Other than that he is a snob if he thinks one must wear a suit to impress. What's the point of this?
I didn't see it as an issue. The author probably wrote it to add to the general point.
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yudothis
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
I didn't see it as an issue. The author probably wrote it to add to the general point.
Yea ok fair enough. It does fit the general point that people wear suits while still at uni.
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jkls92
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(Original post by yudothis)
It still creates an elite. And elite that feels entitled. Much like you seem to feel like. You realize something is different for you than others, but here you are, trying to justify it.

Personally I was offended by such behavior and chose not to partake. Although I suppose at Oxbridge staying away from such things is harder.

In addition, I am sorry but that whole "used to wearing a suit" - what kind of bs argument is that? What does it even mean? I wore a suit for school already. People I work with didn't but had no problem starting to when starting work.
But isn't an elite necessary? We always had one. The idea you can know access it through hard work and education seems a step forward.
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yudothis
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(Original post by usualsuspects)
But isn't an elite necessary? We always had one. The idea you can know access it through hard work and education seems a step forward.
No.

Why do we need an elite? Especially one so entitled?

Because that's how it has always been - very poor argument.

Yes. But doesn't change the underlying factor that for most it is still unreachable. And that it is still far more reachable for the privileged.
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richardhello
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It's absolute nonsense, written by someone who sounds quite bitter to be honest.

£130? You can earn that from 2 days work. Or you're telling me there is no way that the person complaining they can't afford the ticket hasn't needlessly spent £130 elsewhere, like on alcohol or expensive food?

What happened to personal responsibility.
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jkls92
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(Original post by richardhello)
It's absolute nonsense, written by someone who sounds quite bitter to be honest.

£130? You can earn that from 2 days work. Or you're telling me there is no way that the person complaining they can't afford the ticket hasn't needlessly spent £130 elsewhere, like on alcohol or expensive food?

What happened to personal responsibility.
I agree, in my world 130 isnt that much and if you don't have it as a student it's probably because you misallocated your money on something stupid.

But there are people living on 30 a week. There are people who can't afford a 30 pound ticket for a concert they desperately want to go to. This at least is what they say. I can imagine that there is someone at Cambridge from an underprivileged background who can't afford 130 for a night. When at elite unis working is often a bad idea because the workload (for some courses) is very intense and there is an actual difference between opportunities for those with top gears and those with decent-bad grades.
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yudothis
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(Original post by richardhello)
It's absolute nonsense, written by someone who sounds quite bitter to be honest.

£130? You can earn that from 2 days work. Or you're telling me there is no way that the person complaining they can't afford the ticket hasn't needlessly spent £130 elsewhere, like on alcohol or expensive food?

What happened to personal responsibility.
If as a student you feel the need to work two days for £130 then I think you have other worries than spending it on a party.

And yes, who regularly spends that much on alcohol and food? Do tell us.

I think this post reveals a lot about yourself.
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Plagioclase
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Yep, a lot of this sounds fairly accurate to me. The author makes valid points.
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jkls92
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(Original post by yudothis)
No.

Why do we need an elite? Especially one so entitled?

Because that's how it has always been - very poor argument.

Yes. But doesn't change the underlying factor that for most it is still unreachable. And that it is still far more reachable for the privileged.
We aren't more entitled than the Roman nobilitas, the feudal nobility, the French Ancien Regime or the English aristocracy (when it mattered).

Culturally, we need an elite of highly educated people. Philosophy, classics (Latin and Ancient Greek) can't be left to few academics, it's only to society's benefit that a relatively large part of the population (even 5% isn't too bad) has read about humanity's culture and ideas throughout centuries. At the same time, we can't force everyone to read philosophy or Latin in school, since many aren't keen on studying.

Politically, representative democracy is possible only if an elite of representatives exists.

Economically/financially, it's positive to have a richer elite that spends and invests (ferrari's are bought only by rich people, but all kind of employees work for the company). However rich the common people may become, the presence of even richer people will always be something positive.
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richardhello
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(Original post by yudothis)
If as a student you feel the need to work two days for £130 then I think you have other worries than spending it on a party.

And yes, who regularly spends that much on alcohol and food? Do tell us.

I think this post reveals a lot about yourself.

What? Why wouldn't you feel the need to work for £130? What other worries?

You're telling me you don't think the average student spends at least £130 on alcohol alone during the year?

What does it reveal about me then?
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