Usually when we pull something from the Archive and replay it, there are a couple of reasons behind it. One is that the irresistible force of an academic schedule has run into the immovable rock of podcasting. The other is that, attempting to make the resulting violent explosion into a useful propulsive force, we then replay something that not as many people listened to as we think should have done.
But while this time the first reason is valid, the second is not. Dan Chambliss’ conversation has been wildly popular, and is fairly recent. But it seemed good to run it again right after Tim Clydesdale’s conversation. In this way newcomers to the podcast, and regular listeners, can hear two of the best contemporary observers of the college campus give helpful and nearly costless suggestions on What Could Be Done to Make Things Better.
In their book How College Works, Daniel F. Chambliss and Christopher Takacs subject their own school—Hamilton College in upstate New York—to a thorough sociological evaluation to find out actually makes a college community function and thrive. What they found sometimes confirms prejudice and yet baffles it; approves of common sense observations but also undermines them. All in all, How College Works is a fascinating read for anyone who works at a college, wants to go to college, or wants their child to go to college. Daniel F. Chambliss is the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and he’s my guest today on Historically Thinking.