Part 2: Analyzing a Material Culture

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Editor-in-Chief Ananya Prakash Media Director Quinn Whitman

Analyzing a Material Culture is a five-part special report on socio-economic class at ASL and its implications. The report examines classism’s presence at ASL and how it impacts students and the assumptions they have. Look out for the next three parts which will be coming out next week.


With residential prices rising in many parts of London, living in areas close to the school is not always feasible for many, especially when accounting for factors such as transportation and convenience. Catering Manager Christine Kent knows firsthand how a person’s financial situation can dictate where in London they live. “My personal financial circumstances has meant that I can live in a nicer area and I live a long way out of town,” Kent said. “Although I have a long commute, I am in a position where I [have more choice] where I live.”

However, Kent recognizes that this flexibility in deciding where to live is not always given to other staff members at ASL. “The socio-economic constraints of some of [others], possibly means they don’t live where they want to live, they live where they can afford to live,” Kent said.

Director of Service Learning Brandon Block also is aware of how financial situations impact the location of one’s residence. “Faculty who have had the privilege of living in London longer have access to housing that can be permanent, while faculty who have been here a shorter time face these ridiculous housing prices,” he said. “You have the sense that for many, being in London is only possible as a temporary situation to live at the kind of lifestyle that they might want.”

Block believes residential location has a wider impact and influences other decisions a person makes financially, specifically travel and vacations. “Because people are under pressure in terms of housing, that may mean that they are under more pressure in terms of their options for how they spend their holidays,” Block said.

Look out for the next three parts of this special report this week. Part 3: Materialism will be posted on Tuesday, October 23.

GRAPHIC BY QUINN WHITMAN