some of us are brave
I spent two years working in two different for-profit colleges.
Later, I spent seven years researching for-profit colleges.
“Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges” argues that the expansion of financialized credentials is a symptom of inequalities that touch more and more Americans. The growth of for-profit colleges isn’t about customer demand or fuddy duddy traditional higher education but fundamental changes in how we work and the influence of the financial sector over every facet of our lives. I use primary data from hundreds of interviews, analysis of financial documents, and sociological literature on credentialism (see: Bills and Brown) to link growing precarity to high cost, low prestige higher education credentials sold as insurance against increasingly uncertain futures.
The book is forthcoming from The New Press this fall.
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