From Publishers Weekly
Amherst College psychology professor Aries breaks new ground with this study of four groups of students (affluent whites, affluent blacks, whites with high financial needs, limited family education, or both and similarly situated blacks) based on online questionnaires and individual interviews. Although the classroom is not absent from this study, the author's focus is on the more personal and social day-to-day experiences of these students, their perceptions of themselves and others through the lenses of race and class, what relationships they build and how they are informed by identity issues. Aries presents the issues students face when coping with class and race differences, and assesses the benefits, if any... gained from racial and class diversity. The author's keen sense that these major themes are revealed in students' specific experiences enlivens and informs (for example, how a student's summer plans are affected by race and class). Fully cognizant of the atypicality of Amherst students, she recognizes that the matters of race and class that students are dealing with on campus were not unique to this institution, [but] are issues being dealt with or avoided throughout the larger society. (Oct.)
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"Finally, a case study that skillfully unpacks the problems of race and privilege, the less visible inheritance of social class, and the well-intentioned but unfinished campus efforts at environmental engineering. Elizabeth Aries’ insights and recommendations are as serious and relevant as the vexing challenges our colleges face."
—Eugene M. Tobin, Program Officer for the Liberal Arts Colleges Program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, former President of Hamilton College, and co-author of Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education