The Marxist Reason Why Academics “Can’t” Be Stylish

Designed by Austin Watts.
Whether we were wearing gray sweatpants for an 8 a.m. class or unabashedly donning the same gigantic flannel three days in a row, college wasn’t exactly the most fashionable time for many of us.
The good news? Students aren’t the only ones giving in to questionable campus style. Professors, with their mismatched suits and sensible shoes, aren't doing much better. However, while students' outfit choices could be blamed on laziness or campus trends, teachers may have an entirely different logic behind their scruffy looks. And, of course, theirs is a bit more cerebral.
An opinion piece on The Guardian posits that professors, researchers, and others in academia are not only too busy to dress up, they’re also too fulfilled. "If it is true that academics dress badly, then I think Karl Marx explains why," explains University College London professor Jonathan Wolff. Marx wrote that, in the emergence of industrial capitalism in the 1840s, workers were reduced to de-skilled, production-line jobs, becoming an "alienated labor" class stripped of their uniquely human characteristics.
So, what did they turn to? According to Marx, pleasures of the flesh, such as “eating, drinking, procreating, and…dressing up.” As Wolff sums it up, “There we have it. Academics dress badly because we are so fulfilled in our work.” In other words, better think twice about the next time you judge your prof for a less-than-polished look. She might just have it more together than you think. (The Guardian)

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