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ERIC Number: EJ1203376
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1947-5578
(Re)Production of the Contemporary Elite through Higher Education: A Review of Critical Scholarship
Shamash, Rebecca
Berkeley Review of Education, v8 n1 p5-21 2018
This article addresses how the elite class in the United States is (re)produced by and through institutions of higher education, especially the most selective institutions. Through a review of critical, interdisciplinary research on socioeconomic inequality, elitism, and higher education, this paper begins with an overview of contemporary economic inequality and a description of the "new elites" that benefit from this inequality. Using neoliberal ideology and meritocracy as frameworks, I then discuss how recent and current trends in higher education have allowed colleges and universities, particularly those considered most prestigious, to intensify inequality and contribute to class reproduction. Specifically, as the role of income supersedes that of inheritance in fueling inequality, outsized wealth can be much more easily claimed as fair and deserved and simply a natural byproduct of a system--supported by prestigious institutions of higher education--that rewards individual drive, intelligence, and virtue.
Berkeley Graduate School of Education, University of California, 5648 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94702. Tel: 510-328-3701; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A