The Academic Revolution

The Academic Revolution

by Christopher Jencks, David Riesman
     
 

The Academic Revolution describes the rise to power of professional scholars and scientists, first in America's leading universities and now in the larger society as well. Without attempting a full-scale history of American higher education, it outlines a theory about its development and present status. It is illustrated with firsthand observations of

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Overview

The Academic Revolution describes the rise to power of professional scholars and scientists, first in America's leading universities and now in the larger society as well. Without attempting a full-scale history of American higher education, it outlines a theory about its development and present status. It is illustrated with firsthand observations of a wide variety of colleges and universities the country over-colleges for the rich and colleges for the upwardly mobile; colleges for vocationally oriented men and colleges for intellectually and socially oriented women; colleges for Catholics and colleges for Protestants; colleges for blacks and colleges for rebellious whites.

The authors also look at some of the revolution's consequences. They see it as intensifying conflict between young and old, and provoking young people raised in permissive, middle-class homes to attacks on the legitimacy of adult authority. In the process, the revolution subtly transformed the kinds of work to which talented young people aspire, contributing to the decline of entrepreneurship and the rise of professionalism. They conclude that mass higher education, for all its advantages, has had no measurable effect on the rate of social mobility or the degree of equality in American society.

Jencks and Riesman are not nostalgic; their description of the nineteenth-century liberal arts colleges is corrosively critical. They maintain that American students know more than ever before, that their teachers are more competent and stimulating than in earlier times, and that the American system of higher education has brought the American people to an unprecedented level of academic competence. But while they regard the academic revolution as having been an historically necessary and progressive step, they argue that, like all revolutions, it can devour its children. For Jencks and Riesman, academic professionalism is an advance over amateur gentility, but they warn of its dangers and limitations: the elitism and arrogance implicit in meritocracy, the myopia that derives from a strictly academic view of human experience and understanding, the complacency that comes from making technical competence an end rather than a means.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765801159
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
12/24/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
610
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.23(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Editionix
Introductionxix
I.The Academic Revolution in Perspective1
Traditional Colleges and Their Clients1
The Spread of Meritocratic Institutions8
The Rise of the University12
The University College20
II.The War between the Generations28
Academic Age-grading Yesterday and Today28
The Role of Student Subcultures35
The Adult Backlash and the "Safe" Colleges50
III.Social Stratification and Mass Higher Education61
Education versus Certification61
Social Stratification in America64
Cultural Stratification in America74
The Emergence of Mass Higher Education90
Higher Education as a Social Sieve97
Colleges versus the Upwardly Mobile: Pricing107
Colleges versus the Upwardly Mobile: Tests121
Colleges versus the Upwardly Mobile: Motivation133
Toward a More Open Society: Financial Reform136
Toward a More Open Society: Academic Reform140
Mobility or Equality?146
IV.Nationalism versus Localism155
The Early Localists156
The Rise of National Professions160
Non-Meritocratic Nationalization165
Politics, Taxes, and Localism168
Regional Variations171
Localism, Pluralism, and Meritocracy177
Localism and Commuting181
Geographic Dispersion and Community Development185
Age and Sponsorship in Nationalization191
V.The Professional Schools199
Professionalism and Its Consequences199
Seminaries207
Medical Schools212
Military Academies219
Engineering Schools223
Teachers Colleges231
Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences236
An Overview251
VI.Class Interests and the "Public-Private" Controversy257
The Bifurcation of Higher Education257
The Financing of Public and Private Colleges270
Admissions Requirements in the Public and Private Sectors279
College Imagery and Self-Imagery286
VII.Feminism, Masculinism, and Coeducation291
The Rise of Coeducation291
The Women's Colleges302
VIII.Protestant Denominations and Their Colleges312
Protestant Denominationalism312
Diversity, Separatism, and the Founding of New Colleges314
Natural Selection and Evolution among Denominational Colleges322
The Holdouts Face the Future328
IX.Catholics and Their Colleges334
Catholicism in America334
The Control of Catholic Colleges343
Professionalism: Clerical versus Lay Models356
Defining a Clientele: Sex375
Defining a Clientele: Geography380
Defining a Clientele: Class382
Defining a Clientele: Ethnicity395
The Future of the Catholic Colleges398
X.Negroes and Their Colleges406
Negroes in America406
The Evolution of the Negro Colleges417
The Fruits of Oppression425
The Future of the Negro Colleges: Recruitment436
The Future of the Private Negro Colleges451
Alternatives for the Private Negro Colleges461
The Future of the Public Negro Colleges469
Conclusion and Postscript474
XI.The Anti-University Colleges480
The Community College Movement481
The General Education Movement492
Other Non-Academic Professions and Organizations504
XII.Reforming the Graduate Schools510
The Pitfalls of Nostalgia510
Starting at the Top513
"Pure" versus "Applied" Work516
Disciplines versus Subdisciplines: The Need for More Mobility and Anarchy523
The Art of Teaching531
Conclusion539
References545
Index559

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