Within the broader context of the global knowledge economy, wherein the "college-for-all" discourse grows more and more pervasive and systems of higher education become increasingly stratified by social class, important and timely questions emerge regarding the future social location and mobility of the working classes. Though the working classes look very different from the working classes of previous generations, the weight of a universal working-class identity/background amounts to much of the same economic vulnerability and negative cultural stereotypes, all of which continue to present obstacles for new generations of working-class youth, many of whom pursue higher education as a necessity rather than a "choice."
Using a sociological lens, contributors examine the complicated relationship between the working classes and higher education through students’ distinct experiences, challenges, and triumphs during three moments on a transitional continuum: the transition from secondary to higher education; experiences within higher education; and the transition from higher education to the workforce. In doing so, this volume challenges the popular notion of higher education as a means to equality of opportunity and social mobility for working-class students.
Foreword Lois Weis Introduction Amy Stich and Carrie Freie Part I. Inequality of Access 1. "They Really Drill It into You to Go to University": Influences on Working-Class Students’ Decision to Go to University Wolfgang Lehmann 2. Working-Class Minority Students’ Pathways to Higher Education Roberta Espinoza, Cynthia M. Alcantar, and Edwin Hernandez 3. Tracking Access to Knowledge within a Working Class College Amy Stich Part II. Inequality of Experience and Opportunity 4. ‘Outsiders on the Inside’: Working Class Students at UK Universities Diane Reay 5. Making the Grade: The Academic Side of College Life among Financial Aid Recipients Peter Kinsley and Sara Goldrick-Rab 6. Normative Institutional Arrangements and the Mobility Pathway: How Campus-Level Forces Impact First-Generation Students Jenny Stuber 7. First Generation Female College Students in the Web of the Academy Carrie Freie 8. "You Don’t Have To Be a College Graduate to Be Intelligent:" First-Generation Students’ Views of Intelligence and Education Ann Mullen Part III. Inequality of Outcome 9. Working-Class Youth and the Betrayal of the Future Jennifer Silva 10. A Foot in Two Worlds: First-Generation College Graduates and the Discourses Needed for Academic Success Mari Plikuhn and Matthew Knoester 11. Great Expectations: Classed Outcomes of Liberal Arts College Graduates Allison Hurst