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May 31 , 2008

Student Activism and Curricular Change in Higher Education


While higher education is still far from universal in the United States, it plays an increasingly large role in shaping our collective understanding of what knowledge counts as legitimate and important. Therefore, understanding the college curriculum and how it is changed and shaped helps us to understand the overall dynamics of knowledge in contemporary society.
This book considers the emergence of three curricular fields that have developed and spread over the past half century in American higher education - Women's studies, Asian American studies and Queer/LGBT studies. It details the broader history of their development as knowledge fields and then explains how, when, and why individual colleges and universities may choose to adopt such innovations. Based on in-depth case studies of curricular change processes at six colleges and universities across the United States, the book demonstrates that social movements targeting colleges and universities play a major role in curricular change and sets forward a new model for understanding what it takes for social movements targeting organizations to make an impact.

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