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Selling Hope and CollegeMerit, Markets, and Recruitment in an Unranked School$
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Alex Posecznick

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707582

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707582.001.0001

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Being a “Real” College in America

Being a “Real” College in America

Chapter:
(p.113) Chapter 4 Being a “Real” College in America
Source:
Selling Hope and College
Author(s):

Alex Posecznick

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501707582.003.0005

This chapter focuses on how Ravenwood's community perceives and tangles with merit, how numbers have a privileged place in conversations about entrance examinations, accreditation metrics, among others. Merit is constituted by a whole constellation of factors, including affiliation with particular groups (which resonates with discussions about brand), scores on standardized tests, persistence and hard work, and even how choices are made. Although universities are nodes within a massive network of activities, the ways that those strands are knotted together can differ radically depending on the position of the institution, its history, its student profile, and so forth. The ways that meaning gets layered into those different positions is precisely indicative of meritocracy—or the ways that merit moves from a philosophical position to being codified and operationalized into society.

Keywords:   Ravenwood College, meritocracy, entrance examinations, accreditation metrics, universities, merit

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