The Nation: Underclassmen

One hypothesis has it that today's middle-and upper-middle-class youth are romantically willing themselves into an underclass, thus perhaps opening opportunities for the rising and ambitious children of blue-collar workers. Anyone who reads the latest report of Harvard College's Office for Graduate and Career Plans must at least entertain the possibility.

In the Harvard College class of 1970, says the report, 18% of the graduating seniors were undecided what to do after graduation, against 4-6% in 1964-67. The proportion of students intending to go to graduate schools dropped from 74% in 1966 to 46% in 1970. While the idea once seemed willfully eccentric,...

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