Social Science

Download e-book for iPad: Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality by Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura T. Hamilton

By Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura T. Hamilton

ISBN-10: 0674049578

ISBN-13: 9780674049574

Younger women, dormitory friends, embark on their schooling at an enormous kingdom collage. 5 years later, one is incomes a superb wage at a prestigious accounting enterprise. with out loans to pay off, she lives in a trendy residence together with her fiancé. the opposite girl, saddled with burdensome debt and a low GPA, remains to be suffering to complete her measure in tourism. In an period of skyrocketing university and mounting situation over even if collage is "worth it," buying the celebration is an crucial contribution to the discussion assessing the kingdom of yank larger schooling. a robust exposé of unmet responsibilities and lost priorities, it explains in shiny aspect why such a lot of depart collage with so little to teach for it.

Drawing on findings from a five-year interview examine, Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton convey us to the campus of "MU," a flagship Midwestern public collage, the place we persist with a bunch of ladies drawn right into a tradition of prestige looking and sororities. Mapping diverse pathways to be had to MU scholars, the authors reveal that the main well-resourced and seductive course is a "party pathway" anchored within the Greek method and facilitated by way of the management. This pathway exerts impression over the educational and social reports of all scholars, and whereas it merits the prosperous and well-connected, Armstrong and Hamilton clarify the way it heavily dangers the majority.

Eye-opening and provocative, procuring the occasion finds how results can range so dramatically for these whom universities join.

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Extra info for Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality

Example text

As a result, no single pathway was, at least initially, an obvious fit. Coming in the most malleable, these women were most shaped by the organ i zational arrangements they encountered. Primed to Party Students from out of state had to make an intentional decision to cross state boundaries to attend college. Most visited or considered at least half a dozen schools. 22 Socialites Tara and Naomi, profi led in Chapter 5, exemplify women who were primed to party and, as such, were direct recruits to the party pathway.

93 Status is, by defi nition, relative. Colleges and universities jockey with each other for position. They compete, for instance, over the perceived quality of undergraduate education, generally measured through the percentage of applicants turned away and the quality of those accepted. Yet undergraduate education is only one of many dimensions on which universities are ranked, and it is typically not the most central one. Universities can— and do—redirect revenues from low-status to high-status activities, say from undergraduate tuition to graduate education or faculty research.

101 In the context of most big state universities— particularly outside of the most elite— the party pathway is a main artery through the university, much like a well-paved, eight-lane highway directing traffic into a major city: on-ramps are numerous and well marked, and avoiding it completely requires intent, effort, and intricate knowledge of alternative routes. Providing this pathway attracts those whose dollars fuel the university. The professional pathway— catering as it does to another wealthy (but difficult to secure) set of clientele— still exists, but it is narrow, harder to spot, and 22 Introduction fast moving— like an express lane where cars continually pick up speed.

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Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality by Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura T. Hamilton

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