ERIC Number: EJ1234081
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
A "Good Mixer": University Placement in Corporate America, 1890-1940
Groeger, Cristina V.
History of Education Quarterly, v58 n1 p33-64 Feb 2018
This article explores the role of university placement offices in shaping a twentieth-century corporate elite. While studies of the "corporatization" of the university focus on developments after the 1970s, the rise of the modern university and corporate economy were inextricably linked by the early twentieth century. Scholars of this period have described the circulation of scientific knowledge and the influx of college graduates into industry, but the specific ties that facilitated their employment remain underexplored. By examining the correspondence between placement officers and employers in Boston, I demonstrate how universities actively cultivated a new corporate class that not only had the right technical knowledge and social skills but the gender, racial, and class-based characteristics employers preferred. In so doing, universities helped incorporate these characteristics into the meaning of academic merit itself. The marriage of universities and corporate management legitimated a credential-based form of inequality that continues to structure the American political economy.
Descriptors: Educational History, Universities, Industry, Corporations, Placement, College Graduates, Employment Level, Employers, Social Influences, Gender Differences, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Social Class, Personnel Selection, College Role, School Business Relationship, Social Bias
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts (Boston)