Bonnie Urciuoli


“In Selling Hope and College, Alex Posecznick successfully demonstrates that the notion of mediocrity in higher education is not an objective reality in and of itself but rather is a function of the way higher education institutions have generally become systematized.”

“The very real and valuable services offered to a nontraditional student constituency by an institution like Ravenwood get overshadowed by the pressures on it to maintain its position in contemporary ranking systems. Such systems are shaped by contradictory dynamics: on the one hand, forces of meritocracy; on the other hand, of commodification. I know of no other ethnography of a college serving mostly adult working-class women of color, and Posecznick rightfully puts the focus on the precarity of the students’ experiences in and outside the classroom. Selling Hope and College is an excellent—and poignant—read, and a book that I hope will be widely taught.”

Bonnie Urciuoli, Leonard C. Ferguson Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Hamilton College, author of Exposing Prejudice: Puerto Rican Experiences of Language, Race, and Class