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ERIC Number: EJ911579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-6173-5102-0
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Improved Reflections: American Magazines, Higher Education, and the Construction of a Middle-Class Male Identity through European Comparisons, 1890-1915
Clark, Daniel
American Educational History Journal, v37 n2 p273-290 2010
Historians of American education readily acknowledge that in the mid-19th century the German university and academic ideal rose in prominence among American academicians, who then worked diligently to replicate the German university model in the United States. During this same time, however, many more Americans were exposed to a different conception of higher education, one that arguably impacted perceptions of the college experience as much or more than models of German scholarship. "Tom Brown's School Days," followed shortly by "Tom Brown at Oxford," became widely popular readings for American youth in the late 19th century. The books chronicled the educational and athletic exploits of Tom Brown as he rose from the fields of Rugby through Oxford. It spawned several American imitators far more popular than Brown. First Frank Merriwell in the 1890s and then Dink Stover in the new century, planting a firm idea of what the ideal manly college experience in America could be. Examining how American magazines used comparisons to foreign higher education provides an exceptional window for illuminating the broader phenomenon of how the mass media in the United States constructed the unique vision of the middle-class man and the college experience, integrating the two meaningfully for the first time. The author discusses the role that magazines play in shaping not only the place of higher education in American life, but also in forging a new ideal of success for middle-class American men in an emerging corporate age. (Contains 4 notes.)
IAP - Information Age Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 79049, Charlotte, NC 28271-7047. Tel: 704-752-9125; Fax: 704-752-9113; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; United Kingdom; United States