Inside the College Gates : How Class and Culture Matter in Higher Education
This book is intended to bring greater nuance to the study of inequality and higher education. Rather than focusing on human capital and students' experiences inside the classroom, the author highlights the ways in which the experiential core of college life-the social and extra-curricular worlds of higher education-operates as a setting in which social class inequalities manifest and get reproduced.
- Hardback | 208 pages
- 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
- 23 Jun 2011
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
About Jenny M. Stuber
Jenny M. Stuber is assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Florida.
This book provides a unique and salient perspective into the student experience, and anyone who works directly with students will find a wealth of information within its pages. Teachers College Record What makes this study a step outside those which have preceded it, at least for me, was two-fold. First, Stuber is able to create a more carefully nuanced interpretation of students' social class of origins and how that plays into and at times against the expectations they have for themselves and the campus lives they develop. Secondly, she ends her book with an interesting chapter entitled: 'Lessons Learned: Theoretical and Practical Conclusions'. While the theoretical discussion does agree with the place of higher education as a replicating agency, Stuber moves beyond this and attempts to make a real world set of changes to the way information is provided to all students, but especially to working class students. College Composition and Communication Jenny Stuber compares working class and upper middle class origin students at two different kinds of colleges. She convincingly shows that the ways each group attains their degrees, participates in campus life, and forges their mental horizons ultimately serve to reproduce their social statuses. Inside the College Gates documents how this stratification of the "college experience" is an emerging 'horizontal' form of inequality. This well-written book should attract attention from like-minded sociologists of education, specialists in higher education, qualitative methodologists, and stratification/elite researchers. And, it forces all of us to ponder a vexing question: can higher education deliver more equal experiences for all? -- Scott Davies, McMaster University Jenny Stuber offers an astute and compelling analysis of the impact social class has on students' perceptions of and involvement in the social and extracurricular world at college, a crucial domain in which valued social and cultural competencies that contribute to potential success after college are cultivated. Drawing on rich, in-depth interviews with students from both working and upper-middle class backgrounds, Stuber takes us to the heart of student life on campus, shedding new light on class inequities in the acquisition of cultural and social capital outside the classroom. Stuber deepens our understanding of the ways higher education serves as a site for social reproduction, and offers practical advice for colleges and universities to enhance the personal development of working-class students. -- Elizabeth Aries, Amherst University In this important and illuminating book, Stuber takes the reader into the social and extra-curricular worlds of students at two college campuses. Through compelling interviews, Stuber shows how social class matters during college, in terms of the types of resources students bring with them and how these translate into opportunities for integration and social involvement. The book also provides a fascinating account of students' perspectives on their own and others' social class positions. By addressing these long neglected topics, this research broadens our understanding of the stratifying processes taking place on college campuses. -- Ann L. Mullen, University of Toronto
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Inside the College Gates: Education as a Social and Cultural Process Chapter 2: New Student Orientation: How Class and Culture Matter for Settling into College Life Chapter 3: At the Activities Fair: How Class and Culture Matter for Becoming Involved at College Chapter 4: Pulled In or Pushed Out?: How the Organizational Habitus Matters for Working-Class Students' Extra-Curricular Involvement Chapter 5: Ahead of the Class?: The Social Class Worldviews of Upper-Middle-Class Students Chapter 6: Class is in Session: The Social Class Worldviews of Working-Class Students Chapter 7: Lessons Learned: Theoretical and Practical Conclusions