119 Critical Analysis in the Community: The Hierarchy of Knowledge and Architecture on Plymouth Campus

Bradley Rucker

If you walk around campus, you will notice a very distinct separation of students based on their major. I would assert that this separation mimics that of a distinct social structure within the campus. This social pyramid is constructed and based on the hierarchy of knowledge. Those with majors that are higher up on this hierarchy are rewarded with both newer buildings with newer equipment, and proximity of dorms and facilities. I would describe the structure of this hierarchy as mathematics, science, business and language at the top; humanities and social studies in the middle; and arts at the bottom.

It is no mystery to English majors that many of the students outside our major think that English is a worthless major. This asserts a hegemony of wealth potential to control the distribution of knowledge. Knowledge on a college campus is of course the production and therefore is the base. Those who have the higher social status control more of the means to the base because they selected a major that reflects the hegemony well, and thus have reaped the rewards of the hierarchy of knowledge.

I would first like to address the newness of buildings and their equipment and resources. The one of the newer building for classrooms on campus is the building that contains all of the top tier knowledges on campus. Hyde, not only is one of the newer but also has newer equipment, better working utilities and more space. The newest and nicest building belongs to the sciences, Boyd. The older buildings, D&M, Rounds, and memorial, are reserved for the lower tier knowledges. The lowest tier, the arts, is reserved to Silver Center, and D&M. Silver has an issue with desk supplies, a basic structure created in the discursive formation of schooling. D&M just recently renovated for Graphic Designs and some of the classes don’t have AC, only heating.

In addressing the proxemics of the buildings, we can further see the preference towards the higher tier knowledges. Both Boyd and Hyde sit closest to the majority of residence and campus facilities. Boyd sits next to Pemi and Belknap. The two smallest dorms, are Blair and Mary Lyon the only ones near Rounds and Memorial. and the rest of the on-campus residency is by Hyde. Boyd sits right next to the library, an important part of the superstructure that gives means to production. It is easier access for the science students to move in and out of the library between classes for knowledge. Hyde has enough facilities on its own for students who are apart of CoBA. Hyde also sits closest to the chow hall. Yes, D&M is close, but it involves a hike up a steep grade hill.

There is a clear and prevalent social structure that is defined by the hierarchy of knowledge on the Plymouth State Campus. A bourgeoisie-esque social elite is created by the conveniences of proxemics and structure within the buildings of the campus and perpetuate a continuous denotation of importance to the top tier knowledges that reflect Marx’s teachings on social structures and oppression of the proletariat.


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The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by Bradley Rucker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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