ERIC Number: ED276464
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
The Missing Majority: The Community College in American Fiction.
Although more than half of all college students in this country are enrolled in two-year colleges and nearly half of all college faculty members teach in these institutions, two-year colleges are rarely mentioned in American fiction. An informal survey of over 100 people who read widely turned up only four novels and two short stories in which a character attends or teaches in a two-year college. In these works, the student characters are non-intellectual, often shallow, perhaps comic, and sometimes sympathetic; and while the faculty members may not be non-intellectual, shallow, or comic, their jobs are seen this way. Possible reasons for the near invisibility of community colleges in fiction are: (1) the relative newness of two-year colleges as a mass cultural pattern; (2) the low socioeconomic status of the major groups who enroll, particularly in the urban community college; and (3) intellectual elitism. While some suppose that community college students and faculty will remain unstoried and unsung, others anticipate that two-year colleges will be featured more frequently in literature in the future. (LAL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a Conference of the City Colleges of Chicago Conference (Chicago, IL, October 17-18, 1986).