Mass university education, in the advanced industrial countries,’ is leading to a shift in the function and character of university-educated personnel. From an elite education for sons of notables preparing to assume leading roles, there is a turn to vocational training and, also, to an imprecise rite of passage designed to prepare technicians and white-collar workers for a bureaucratized economy. This trend has reduced many of the old-style professionals to paid employees of institutions. The process has advanced farthest in the United States,2 though a number of factors make awareness of it clearer in France and some East European countries. It is important to distinguish between the effect of mass university education, primarily a post-World War II phenomenon, and the older discontent of unemployed university graduates centered on status demands and often associated with right-wing movements.
The post-World War II expansion of universities has coinc...
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