Is socialization the killer feature of the American college system?

Danah Boyd has a great post on how Facebook is upending college dorm life before it even begins:

It’s high time we recognize that college isn’t just about formalized learning and skills training, but also a socialization process with significant implications for the future.  The social networks that youth build in college have long-lasting implications for youth’s future prospects.  One of the reasons the American college experience is so valuable is because it often produces diverse networks that enable future opportunities.  This is also precisely what makes elite colleges elite; the networks that are built through these institutions end up shaping many aspects of power.  When less privileged youth get to know children of powerful families, new pathways of opportunity and tolerance are created.  But when youth use Facebook to maintain existing insular networks, the potential for increased structural inequity is great.

The entire thing is worth a read.


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