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.
By daily interviews and observations in classes, wards, laboratories, and operating theaters, the team of sociologists who carried out this firsthand research have not only captured the worries, cynicism, and basic idealism of medical studentsâthey have also documented many other realities of medical education in relation to society. With some sixty tables and illustrations, the book is a major experiment in analyzing and presenting qualitative data.