Review of Engines of anxiety: Academic rankings, reputation, and accountability

Victoria L. VanZandt

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/er.v24.2226

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Engines of Anxiety: Academic Rankings, Reputation, and Accountability

Author: Wendy Nelson Espeland
Abstract:

Students and the public routinely consult various published college rankings to assess the quality of colleges and universities and easily compare different schools. However, many institutions have responded to the rankings in ways that benefit neither the schools nor their students. In Engines of Anxiety, sociologists Wendy Espeland and Michael Sauder delve deep into the mechanisms of law school rankings, which have become a top priority within legal education. Based on a wealth of observational data and over 200 in-depth interviews with law students, university deans, and other administrators, they show how the scramble for high rankings has affected the missions and practices of many law schools. The ranking system is considered a valuable resource for learning about more than 200 law schools. Yet, Engines of Anxiety shows that the drive to increase a school’s rankings has negative consequences for students, educators, and administrators and has implications for all educational programs that are quantified in similar ways.

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
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Education Review / Reseñas Educativas

A multi-lingual journal of book reviews

ISSN: 1094-5296