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The Credential Society: An Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification


reviewed by Paul W. Kingston - 1980

coverTitle: The Credential Society: An Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification
Author(s): Randall Collins
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: , Pages: , Year:
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Randall Collins's provocative and ambitious book The Credential Society presents a generally incisive interpretation of the education-based stratification system in the United States. The work is macrosociological in approach, showing the role of education in the overall structure of the political economy and in individual careers. Although these two concerns are inherently related, they are not often brought together in the prevalent individualistically biased tradition of stratification research. Although education has long been embraced as an unalloyed social good, there is now a growing sense that it serves poorly its proclaimed role of enhancing productivity, equality, and learning. Credential requirements have often been inflated beyond any conceivable connection to the skill requirements of jobs, but potential workers realize that entry to desirable jobs is ever more restricted to those who have passed through designated academic gates. Thus the great credential chase continues unabated, with seemingly little purpose or control, no end... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 82 Number 2, 1980, p. 365-368
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1005, Date Accessed: 12/9/2019 2:44:31 AM

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About the Author
  • Paul Kingston
    Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    Paul W. Kingston is a research associate at the Center for the Social Sciences, Columbia University. His dissertation, "The High Income Track," analyzes the effects of the prestige-stratified educational system on chances of earning high income
 
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