Conceptualizing Critical Friendship as a Protective Measure in Academia
Keywords:Critical friendship, working-class, doctoral student, auto-ethnography, competence, gender, debt
Critical friendship is often used in the field of education to refer to relationships based on support and critical critique of professional practice. However, we posit that critical friendship has the potential as both a protective measure and mode of functional support for individuals negotiating the lived experiences and consequences of being working-class in the academy. Based on the auto-ethnographic narratives of two self-defined working-class doctoral students living and working in Ontario, Canada, we find that (mis)perceptions of incompetence; negotiating the academy as women; income, debt, and the tensions this creates result in the need for this redefined understanding of critical friendship.