Paying for the Party

Paying for the Party

In an era of skyrocketing tuition and concern over whether college is “worth it,” Paying for the Party is an indispensable contribution to the dialogue assessing the state of American higher education. A powerful exposé of unmet obligations and misplaced priorities, it explains in detail why so many leave college with so little to show for it.

Parenting to a Degree

How Family Matters for College Women's Success

Parenting to a Degree

Helicopter parents—the kind that continue to hover even in college—are one of the most ridiculed figures of twenty-first-century parenting, criticized for creating entitled young adults who boomerang back home. But do involved parents really damage their children and burden universities? In this book, sociologist Laura T. Hamilton illuminates the lives of young women and their families to ask just what role parents play during the crucial college years. Hamilton vividly captures the parenting approaches of mothers and fathers from all walks of life—from a CFO for a Fortune 500 company to a waitress at a roadside diner. As she shows, parents are guided by different visions of the ideal college experience, built around classed notions of women’s work/family plans and the ideal age to “grow up.” Some are intensively involved and hold adulthood at bay to cultivate specific traits: professional helicopters, for instance, help develop the skills and credentials that will advance their daughters’ careers, while pink helicopters emphasize appearance, charm, and social ties in the hopes that women will secure a wealthy mate. In sharp contrast, bystander parents—whose influence is often limited by economic concerns—are relegated to the sidelines of their daughter’s lives. Finally, paramedic parents—who can come from a wide range of class backgrounds—sit in the middle, intervening in emergencies but otherwise valuing self-sufficiency above all. Analyzing the effects of each of these approaches with clarity and depth, Hamilton ultimately argues that successfully navigating many colleges and universities without involved parents is nearly impossible, and that schools themselves are increasingly dependent on active parents for a wide array of tasks, with intended and unintended consequences. Altogether, Parenting to a Degree offers an incisive look into the new—and sometimes problematic—relationship between students, parents, and universities.

Economic Inequality, Neoliberalism, and the American Community College

Economic Inequality, Neoliberalism, and the American Community College

This book aims to deepen public understanding of the community college and to challenge our longstanding reliance on a deficit model for defining this important, powerful, and transformative institution. Featuring a unique combination of data and research, Sullivan seeks to help redefine, update, and reshape public perception about community colleges. This book gives serious attention to student voices, and includes narratives written by community college students about their experiences attending college at an open admissions institution. Sullivan examines the history of the modern community college and the economic model that is driving much of the current discussion in higher education today. Sullivan argues that the community college has done much to promote social justice and economic equality in America since the founding of the modern community college in 1947 by the Truman Commission.

Education and Society

An Introduction to Key Issues in the Sociology of Education

Education and Society

Drawing on current scholarship, Education and Society takes students on a journey through the many roles that education plays in contemporary societies. Addressing students’ own experience of education before expanding to larger sociological conversations, Education and Society helps readers understand and engage with such topics as peer groups, gender and identity, social class, the racialization of achievement, the treatment of immigrant children, special education, school choice, accountability, discipline, global perspectives, and schooling as a social institution. The book prompts students to evaluate how schools organize our society and how society organizes our schools. Moving from students to schooling to social forces, Education and Society provides a lively and engaging introduction to theory and research and will serve as a cornerstone for courses such as sociology of education, foundations of education, critical issues in education, and school and society.

Our Kids

The American Dream in Crisis

Our Kids

A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

An Operating Manual for the University of Michigan

An Operating Manual for the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan clearly qualifies forinclusion in the small group of institutions that haveshaped American higher education. Michigan haslong defined the model of the large, comprehensive,public research university, with a serious commitment to scholarship and service. It has been distinguished by unusual breadth, a rich diversity of academic disciplines and professional schools, social and cultural activities, and intellectual pluralism. This unrelenting commitment to academic excellence, broad student access, and public service continues today. In virtually all national and international surveys, the university's programs rank among the very best, with most of its schools, colleges, and departments ranking in quality among the top ten nationally and with several regarded as the leading programs in the nation.