Over the past few years, plenty of ink has been spent discussing the question of how college changes students. They don’t just learn facts, of course—there are lots of important skills to learn inside and outside the classroom. Students also change as they grow out of their teens and into their early twenties. In the newest issue of Academe, Chad Hanson proposes a different way to think about the question: an anthropological method.
Hanson writes that the process of going to and graduating from college fits into the model of how people elevate themselves in society, as described by the anthropologist Victor Turner: First the students leave the mainstream of society, they have a period of marginalization, and then they return to be aggregated back into society.
You can see what other insights and suggestions he has by reading the full article.