The Wealthy, the Brilliant, the Few
Elite Education in Contemporary American Discourse
How does the US make sense of its elite educational system, given that it seems to be at odds with core American values, such as equality of opportunity or upward mobility? Sophie Spieler explores scholarly and journalistic investigations, self-representational texts, and fictional narratives revolving around the Ivy League and its peers in order to understand elite education and its peculiar position in American cultural discourse. Among the book's most surprising and groundbreaking insights is the tenacity and adaptability of meritocratic ideology across all three sub-discourses, despite its fundamental incompatibility with the American educational system.
KeywordsSocial Stratification; Distinction; Meritocracy; Campus Novels; Capital; Princeton; Elite Education; Class; Discourse Analysis; Neoliberalism; Ivy League; Curtis Sittenfeld; Literature; Education; America; American Studies; Cultural Studies; Cultural Theory; Literary Studies
Publication date and placeBielefeld, 2021
SeriesAmerican Culture Studies,
Literary studies: general