Teacher-Scholar: The Journal of the State Comprehensive University


Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton. Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. xv, 326 p. ISBN: 9780674049574. $35.00. Part of the American Dream is the belief that hard work, determination, and a college education lead to prosperity and professional advancement. Paying for the Party explores the experiences of a cohort of college women and requires readers to suspend existing beliefs about meritocracy, traditional notions of intelligence, bootstraps, upward mobility, and even Cinderella. In their place the authors weave together class, capital (social and cultural), tactical consumerism, and the policies of cash-strapped universities that “track” women into particular majors to develop a typology of women at a flagship public university in the Midwest.