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Book Reviews : Randall Collins, The Credential Society. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1979, pp. 222, $13.50

Book Reviews : Randall Collins, The Credential Society. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1979, pp. 222, $13.50


Book ReviewsRandall Collins, The Credential Society. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1979, pp. 222, $13.50 SAGE Publications, Inc.1982DOI: 10.1177/002071528202300127 K. Michael Warner McPherson College McPherson, Kansas Randall Collins, acknowledged for his conflict perspective in the discipline of sociology, has written a book that examines the significance of education as a determinant in the process of social stratification. Basically, Collins is challenging the standard assumption that educational attainment is directly related to upward social mobility and hence, higher incomes. Collins also doubts the optimistic platitudes of those who view education as a factor that has diffused former economic rigidities and allowed persons to advance on the basis of their own individual merit. Moreover, Collins discounts the technocratic interpretation of education which explains rising educational requirements as the derived result of technological advancement. According to Collins, education is not vitally related to higher skilled positions and larger economic rewards. Furthermore, Collins does not support the thesis that advancing educational requirements are intricately tied to economic expansion and growth. Education contributes to economic growth only " the level of the transition to mass literacy and not significantly beyond this level." (p. 15) Collins notes, too, that those workers with the highest
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