Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Is College Worth It?

Is College Worth It?

Class and the Myth of the College Premium

Richard Ohmann and Ira Shor

Publication Date
Binding Type

What is the true value of a college education?

In this thought-provoking book, acclaimed cultural critic and professor of literature Richard Ohmann and noted critical scholar and pedagogue Ira Shor challenge the widely accepted notion of the "college premium": the economic advantage associated with obtaining a college degree. The authors show how the idea of a college premium is often merely a myth that furthers the commercialization of education.

Drawing on historical analysis and keen insights, they expose the underlying neoliberal ideology that has transformed universities into vehicles for...

What is the true value of a college education?

In this thought-provoking book, acclaimed cultural critic and professor of literature Richard Ohmann and noted critical scholar and pedagogue Ira Shor challenge the widely accepted notion of the "college premium": the economic advantage associated with obtaining a college degree. The authors show how the idea of a college premium is often merely a myth that furthers the commercialization of education.

Drawing on historical analysis and keen insights, they expose the underlying neoliberal ideology that has transformed universities into vehicles for profit-driven corporations. They argue that the college premium confirms class hierarchies in the United States while claiming to apply to everyone. This compelling narrative uncovers the reshaping of our perception of the value of higher education. From the casualization of academic labor to the mounting burden of student debt, from the erosion of academic freedoms to the rise of vocational curricula, Ohmann and Shor connect the dots to illustrate how economic imperatives have influenced university life.

Is College Worth It? is a must-read for students, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of education. Ohmann and Shor's erudite analysis challenges conventional wisdom and offers a fresh perspective on the true meaning and worth of a college education.

Reviews

Reviews

A major (indeed, final) statement from one of the most trenchant and influential critics of American higher education—a pioneer in the field of critical university studies for decades before anyone thought there might be a thing called 'critical university studies.'

For years, Richard Ohmann delighted in stripping the new clothes from the academic emperor, revealing the imperial deceptions that have kept us from understanding—and thus challenging—the status quo. In asking 'Is College Worth It?' Ohmann slyly deconstructs the myth of the 'college premium' that diverts attention from American inequality.

About

Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
5
x
8
Pages
288
ISBN
9781421448800
Table of Contents

A Note on the Making of This Book
Preface. "Beauty of an Implied Collaboration," or How Dick Ohmann and I Made This Book
Ira Shor
Introduction. The Myth of the College Premium and Other Truisms of

A Note on the Making of This Book
Preface. "Beauty of an Implied Collaboration," or How Dick Ohmann and I Made This Book
Ira Shor
Introduction. The Myth of the College Premium and Other Truisms of American Culture
Jeffrey J. Williams
Chapter 1. The Costs and Benefits of College Education
Chapter 2. Does Going to College Raise Lifetime Earnings?
Chapter 3. What Makes People "Well-Off"—or Not?
Chapter 4. Education for Jobs and Careers
Chapter 5. The Payoff of College Education for the United States
Chapter 6. At the End of the College Rainbow
Ira Shor
Notes
Index

Author Bios
Richard Ohmann
Featured Contributor

Richard Ohmann

The late Richard Ohmann was an American literary critic and professor of English at Wesleyan University.
Ira Shor
Featured Contributor

Ira Shor

Ira Shor is emeritus professor of English and urban education at CUNY.