The Academic Revolution

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, Nov 30, 2001 - Education - 580 pages
0 Reviews
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.

Christopher Jencks is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the author of Rethinking Social Policy: Race, Poverty and the Underclass, The Homeless, and co-editor of The Black-White Text Score Gap.

David Riesman is Henry Ford II Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Harvard University. He is the author of Thorstein Veblen, Abundance for What, The Lonely Crowd, and Variety in American Education.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Traditional Colleges and Their Clients
1
The Spread of Meritocratic Institutions
8
The Rise of the University
12
The University College
20
Academic Agegrading Yesterday and Today
28
The Role of Student Subcultures
35
The Adult Backlash and the Safe Colleges
50
Education versus Certification
61
Admissions Requirements in the Public and Private Sectors
279
College Imagery and SelfImagery
286
The Rise of Coeducation
291
The Womens Colleges
302
Protestant Denominationalism
312
Diversity Separatism and the Founding of New Colleges
314
Natural Selection and Evolution among Denominational Colleges
322
The Holdouts Face the Future
328

Social Stratification in America
64
Cultural Stratification in America
74
The Emergence of Mass Higher Education
90
Higher Education as a Social Sieve
97
Pricing
107
Tests
121
Motivation
133
Financial Reform
136
Academic Reform
140
Mobility or Equality?
146
IV Nationalism versus Localism
155
The Early Localists
156
The Rise of National Professions
160
NonMeritocratic Nationalization
165
Politics Taxes and Localism
168
Regional Variations
171
Localism Pluralism and Meritocracy
177
Localism and Commuting
181
Geographic Dispersion and Community Development
185
Age and Sponsorship in Nationalization
191
Professionalism and Its Consequences
199
Seminaries
207
Medical Schools
212
Military Academies
219
Engineering Schools
223
Teachers Colleges
231
Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences
236
An Overview
251
the PublicPrivate Controversy The Bifurcation of Higher Education
257
The Financing of Public and Private Colleges
270
Catholicism in America
334
The Control of Catholic Colleges
343
Clerical versus Lay Models
356
Sex
375
Geography
380
Class
382
Ethnicity
395
The Future of the Catholic Colleges
398
Negroes in America
406
The Evolution of the Negro Colleges
417
The Fruits of Oppression
425
Recruitment
436
The Future of the Private Negro Colleges
451
Alternatives for the Private Negro Colleges
461
The Future of the Public Negro Colleges
469
Conclusion and Postscript
474
XL The AntiUniversity Colleges
480
The Community College Movement
481
The General Education Movement
492
Other NonAcademic Professions and Organizations
504
The Pitfalls of Nostalgia
510
Starting at the Top
513
Pure versus Applied Work
516
The Need for More Mobility and Anarchy
523
The Art of Teaching
531
Conclusion
539
References
545
Index
559
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information