Using a rich array of archival and quantitative sources, and oral testimony from ex-students across Canada, Axelrod explores the characteristics and significance of university life during a trying decade. He describes who went to university, what they were taught, how they amused themselves, how they responded to the pressing political issues of the day, and what became of them after graduation. Axelrod argues that these students shared the aspirations of middle-class communities elsewhere. Dreading the prospect of downward social mobility, they craved the status a university degree and professional credentials might produce. Accordingly, they forged an associational life on campus that challenged the control of paternalistic authorities, perpetuated the values of middle-class culture, and helped them cope with the stresses of the time.
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