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v2.1 Reference

Is College Worth It?

Class and the Myth of the College Premium

What is the true value of a college education?

In this thought-provoking book, acclaimed cultural critic and professor of literature Richard Ohmann and noted critical scholar and pedagogue Ira Shor challenge the widely accepted notion of the "college premium": the economic advantage associated with obtaining a college degree. The authors show how the idea of a college premium is often merely a myth that furthers the commercialization of education.

Drawing on historical analysis and keen insights, they expose the underlying neoliberal ideology that has transformed universities into vehicles for profit-driven corporations. They argue that the college premium confirms class hierarchies in the United States while claiming to apply to everyone. This compelling narrative uncovers the reshaping of our perception of the value of higher education. From the casualization of academic labor to the mounting burden of student debt, from the erosion of academic freedoms to the rise of vocational curricula, Ohmann and Shor connect the dots to illustrate how economic imperatives have influenced university life.

Is College Worth It? is a must-read for students, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of education. Ohmann and Shor's erudite analysis challenges conventional wisdom and offers a fresh perspective on the true meaning and worth of a college education.

About the Authors

The late Richard Ohmann was an American literary critic and professor of English at Wesleyan University. Ira Shor is emeritus professor of English and urban education at the City University of New York.

Endorsements

"A major (indeed, final) statement from one of the most trenchant and influential critics of American higher education—a pioneer in the field of critical university studies for decades before anyone thought there might be a thing called 'critical university studies.'"

- Michael Bérubé, Pennsylvania State University; coauthor of It's Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom

"I wish that more of my colleagues in economics who write about the returns to education could analyze the relevant issues as coherently and write as clearly as Richard Ohmann. Ohmann's survey and critical scrutiny of quantitative studies bearing on the benefits and costs of higher education is masterful, as is his broader analysis of the factors that have shaped higher education in the United States and the roles that higher education has played in buttressing the social-political economy we have. The book is a very good read."

- Richard R. Nelson, Columbia University

"For years, Richard Ohmann delighted in stripping the new clothes from the academic emperor, revealing the imperial deceptions that have kept us from understanding—and thus challenging—the status quo. In asking 'Is College Worth It?' Ohmann slyly deconstructs the myth of the 'college premium' that diverts attention from American inequality."

- Ellen Schrecker, Yeshiva University
Johns Hopkins University Press
Critical University Studies
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Hardback
April 16, 2024
$32.95 USD
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Electronic book text
April 16, 2024
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Other Titles by Richard Ohmann

Politics of Knowledge

Richard Ohmann
Jun 2003 - Wesleyan University Press
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Making and Selling Culture

edited by Richard Ohmann
Nov 1996 - Wesleyan University Press
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English in America

Richard Ohmann
Jan 1996 - Wesleyan University Press
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Other Titles in Higher & further education, tertiary education

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$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Coping on Campus

Doris Iarovici, MD
Dec 2024 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$89.95 USD - Hardback

Recentering Learning

edited by Maggie Debelius, Joshua Kim, and Edward Maloney
Dec 2024 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback