Marxism between GSIs and Professors
In the college world a student really has two teachers for each of their classes. They have their professors and they have their GSIs. They spend a few hours with each every week, both having different insight on the topic which the students are learning about. Clearly though, the students can see that the professors have the higher job. As a student, I see that the two instructors hold the position of, in a sense, the two classes Karl Marx speaks of: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
In this situation, the GSIs would play the role of the proletariat. In the classes they instruct, they do much of the work for the professors. They seem to grade much of the work for the class, monitor the grade book, answer questions for students, hold review sessions, and much more. However, they are paid a significant amount lower than the professors.
While the GSIs are the proletariat, the professors would take the role of the bourgeoisie. They are of a higher class than the proletariat, in Marx’s views, and this is definitely true with the professors to the GSIs. The GSIs are still considered students, and are still in classes, trying to earn degrees. The professors are out of school, in the working world, with professional degrees, teaching for a living. With that, professors make far more money than GSIs. Once they hit their ten-year contracts, they have to ability to sit back and let their GSIs to most of the work a lot of the time, and still make much more money.
The one way this thought falls through, however, is the oppression. In Marx’s view, the Bourgeoisie continuously tries to oppress the proletariat by lowering wages and such, so they can continue to stay above the proletariat. In the world of professors and GSIs, this does not happen. The Professors WANT the GSIs to succeed. They are there to help each other. Being a GSI is a learning experience as well as a job. They are there to both learn more about the topic they are studying as well as learn how to express their views through helping the students learn. In this, the GSIs help the professors as well. Their job is to help the students understand the topics, as well as help the professors with whatever they need.
Through this evaluation, I have found that in a Marxian world, GSIs would represent the proletariat while professors would represent the Bourgeoisie. Although the professors will always be a class above the GSIs, they would never intentionally oppress the GSIs. They help each other while they work together.