Making the Grade: The Academic Side of College Life

Transaction Publishers
Free Sample

Based on three years of detailed anthropological observation, this account of undergraduate culture portrays students' academic relations to faculty and administration as one of subjection. With rare intervals in crisis moments, student life has always been dominated by grades and grade point averages. The authors of "Making the Grade "maintain that, though it has taken different forms from tune to time, the emphasis on grades has persisted in academic life. From this premise they argue that the social organization giving rise to this emphasis has remained remarkably stable throughout the century.

Becker, Geer, and Hughes discuss various aspects of college life and examine the degree of autonomy students have over each facet of their lives. Students negotiate with authorities the conditions of campus political and organizational life--the student government, independent student organizations, and the student newspaper--and preserve substantial areas of autonomous action for themselves. Those same authorities leave them to run such aspects of their private lives as friendships and dating as they wish. But, when it comes to academic matters, students are subject to the decisions of college faculties and administrators.

Becker deals with this continuing lack of autonomy in student life in his new introduction. He also examines new phenomena, such as the impact of "grade inflation" and how the world of real adult work has increasingly made professional and technical expertise, in addition to high grades, the necessary condition for success. "Making the Grade "continues to be an unparalleled contribution to the studies of academics, students, and college life. It will be of interest to university administrators, professors, students, and sociologists.

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Additional information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
1 Jan 1995
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Pages
150
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ISBN
9781412827904
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Evaluation & Assessment
Education / Higher
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Seller
Google Commerce Ltd
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Eligible for Family Library

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The papers in this volume, including two important and previously unpublished essays on sociological method, represent most of Howard Beckers work of the past twenty years that has not appeared in book form. They reflect the way of thinking about society and how to study it that has established Professor Beckers place among the leading sociologists of our time. Th e result is an important statement of the distinctive theoretical and methodological views associated with the "Chicago School" of sociology, reflecting a deep concern with the study at first hand of the processes and human consequences of collective action and interaction. The first part of the book treats problems of method as problems of social interaction and lists a series of research problems, which require analytic attention-gaining access to research sites, choosing a theoretical framework within which to approach a group or community, avoiding error, and developing hypotheses. They also exemplify this approach by analyzing the interactional aspects of definition, proof with qualitative evidence, bias, and the value commitments of sociology. Part Two illustrates Professor Beckers approach through full reports on two of his major research projects. Part Th ree contains four theoretical statements on how people change (a sociological approach to what psychologists call "personality"), and Part Four makes important contributions to the study of deviance. The papers here ask what we can learn about American society from looking at its common forms of deviance and illustrate the need to study deviance as part of the general study of society, not as an isolated specialty.
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