Paying for the Party
Monday, 04/04/2016. ARCHIVED EVENT
Location: 6050 ISR Thompson St
This presentation discusses "Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality" (Harvard University Press, 2015). "Paying for the Party" assesses the state of American higher education, revealing unmet obligations and misplaced priorities and explaining why so many leave college with so little to show for it.
Drawing on findings from a five-year interview study, Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton bring us to the campus of "MU," a flagship Midwestern public university, where we follow a group of women drawn into a culture of status seeking and sororities. Mapping different pathways available to MU students, the authors demonstrate that the most well-resourced and seductive route is a "party pathway" anchored in the Greek system and facilitated by the administration. This pathway exerts influence over the academic and social experiences of all students, and while it benefits the affluent and well-connected, Armstrong and Hamilton make clear how it seriously disadvantages the majority.
Elizabeth Armstrong is a sociologist with research interests in the areas of sexuality, gender, culture, organizations, social movements, and higher education. Professor Armstrong joined the Department of Sociology and the Organizational Studies Program at the University of Michigan in 2009. Before that, she held a faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and a recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley and a B.A. in Sociology and Computer Science from the University of Michigan.