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Paying for the Party


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About the Author

Elizabeth A. Armstrong is Professor of Sociology and Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan. Laura T. Hamilton is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced.


Instead of being a great equalizer, Paying for the Party argues, the American way of college rewards those who come not just academically but socially prepared, while treating working-class students more cruelly, and often leaving them adrift.--Ross Douthat"New York Times" (05/03/2014)
Paying for the Party is well written and perversely hard to put down. Readers who did their own share of partying in college may cringe in rueful recognition.-- (09/01/2014)
With astute observations and insights, Paying for the Party sheds new light on the lived experiences of contemporary students. It is a very important piece of scholarship that will inform the national discourse on the current state of U.S. higher education.--Richard Arum, author of Academically Adrift
In this bold book, Armstrong and Hamilton capture the strikingly different pathways women undergraduates can take through public universities--'party, ' 'professional, ' or 'mobility'--and show how the dominant campus culture indulges the upper-middle class and limits the prospect of the upwardly mobile. The authors show the complex connections between parental resources, sociability, educational outcome, post-graduation lives, and the importance of the right brand of shoes. This book illuminates the realities of the college experience today, when an adult life without crushing debt is fast becoming the privilege of the few.--Mich le Lamont, author of How Professors Think
Paying for the Party is very provocative and should be read by every dean of students on every residential campus. At a time when women are making rapid progress in educational attainment compared to men, Armstrong and Hamilton show how young women's academics, social lives, and labor-market opportunities get aligned in college--and what happens when they do not.--Mitchell Stevens, author of Creating a Class

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