Friday, January 28, 2011

Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class. - Free Online Library

Also, check the online review here:

Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class. - Free Online Library

The grand vision of the public university as a place where people of diverse ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds come together to learn and teach each other has been undermined by a conservative culture war, asserts English professor Newfield. He links the culture war with an economic war on the middle class that has resulted in a diminution of wages and weakening of political influence. The democratizing mission of public universities has been overrun by market forces that have chipped away at the hard-won benefits of the very people the universities were graduating. Newfield documents the influence of the market on everything from funds allocated to hot career areas of science and commerce while the humanities languish to universities outsourcing student services to tiered employment systems. He examines the historical vision of a knowledge society, represented by public universities, and the attacks of conservatives threatened by its egalitarianism, with raging debates over affirmative action and “political correctness.” Finally, he offers strategies for reclaiming the original mission of the public university. An authoritative, accessible analysis of change in higher public education. --Vanessa Bush


Newfield's argument is original, his evidence varied and rich, and his historical narrative coherent. He situates the university in its broadest social context, and shows that the 'culture wars,' far from being a sideshow, have in fact cleverly been fomented by conservatives to reshape the values of the university, the world-view of its graduates, and the economy which it significantly shapes and which shapes it.
--David L. Kirp, author of Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education


I thought this looked like a good one, as it coincides well with my "Is Capitalism Christian" essay. It's an interesting thought: How the Conservative Political Agenda may be really a shill to dumb people down. That is, the ones they can't indoctrinate.

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