It took me a little longer to find the “fun,” hypothetical case studies instead of the relatively more boring academic/research misconduct case studies. I chose this one because I’m really interested in the anti-academic bullying push at our school and this seemed to be a really good example of the type of thing that might happen.

I think the first thing I noticed was that while the case study clearly got the crux of the situation across, the author is by no means a professional writer. But once I got over that, I was struck by the gender distribution of power in this case study. Beyond the mentor/mentee dynamic, there is also the complicated gender dynamics. No racial or ethnicity factors were described, so that additional complicated layer can’t be considered.

The way the questions were framed were also awkward and leaned in the direction of blaming the victim. For example, “Why do you suppose Kara has let things get to this point? Has she been exploited in any way?” Like, why couldn’t the question be “What systems were in place that allowed this advisor to take advantage of the work provided by graduate students for so long that he doesn’t give a second thought to overloading a new student?”

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