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Journal: Problems of Education in the 21st Century (Vol.70, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 8-20

Keywords : education at post-secondary level; liberal arts; youth unemployment; inequality; Poland;

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Young people are confronting a world in which they may not achieve economic strides their parents did. Almost all will have been awarded university degree, worth far less (in the terms and conditions of their employment) than that of their parents, if they themselves graduated from university. In the article the author discusses the relationship between higher education and stratification. The concepts of meritocracy and credentialism are considered and a particular attention is paid to an equal/unequal access to education dilemma. Discussed is why a liberal arts education is losing ground and why it is being made a scapegoat for graduate unemployment. Does the nightmare of Weber's “iron cage of rationalization” come true and is the contemporary university in the service of an economic order with all the related technical requirements of machine production? In the second part of the article the role of meritocratic discourse and educational credential inflation is considered as well as the growth of menial jobs for young people as a case in Poland.

Last modified: 2018-06-18 01:18:12