After reading the introduction and optional chapter from Armstrong and Hamilton's Paying for the Party and Rebekah Nathan's "Student Culture and 'Liminality'" from My Freshman Year, please reflect on one of the questions below regarding the way privatization exacerbates inequality. You may also use ONE of the readings from last time, especially for the second question.
Answer one of the following in the comments section below, making reference to two readings, and then respond to someone else for the full two points participation credit:
Question Option #1: To what extent and in what ways is college less of a 'liminal' space for self-discovery or personal transformation under privatization?
In the excerpt from her book My Freshman Year, Rebekah Nathan discusses how the cost of college seems to have changed the experience of today's students by making college less a place for free exploration and self-discovery and more a place to focus on preparing for the job market or worrying about money. And, with the rise in prices, the possibilities of social class mobility, which is another promise of "liminality," may be endangered. How does Nathan's argument connect to the story of a particular student or particular students from Armstrong and Hamilton's book, and what does their example suggest about Nathan's thesis? Is college no longer a 'liminal' space of freedom or transformation between childhood and adulthood? Is "the party pathway" one example of how students explore their liminal position or how they refuse real transformation? Is it still possible to make college a place where people can freely choose who they want to become or how they want to live -- or how they can think and live freely (which is the essential meaning of "the liberal arts")? How do "adult realities" intrude on the liminal space of college for some students, especially "strivers"? How does Amstrong and Hamilton's subtitle, "How College Maintains Inequality," speak to the way the institution of college participates in an increasing social stratification that inhibits mobility?
Question Option #2: How does privatization increase pressure on less affluent students and/or increase the value of family resources?
Who is most harmed by privatization? Who gains competitive advantage? And how exactly does that happen? Examine a particular case discussed by Armstrong and Hamilton that shows how less affluent students are affected by the increased pressures of college costs and/or how more affluent students are insulated from economic pressures and gain other economic advantages from their family wealth. If you want to carry your analysis of family resources further in preparation for the Analytic Essay, make a connection to Melinda Cooper's chapter that we read for last class. How does Cooper's argument about the increasing importance of family resources under privatization help to explain evidence from particular students discussed by Armstrong and Hamilton?
Respond to this question using the comments feature below, making direct reference to two of the readings in your comment, before we meet on Tuesday. Then comment on another student's comment by the end of the week.