The Enigmatic Academy

Class, Bureaucracy, and Religion in American Education

Christian J. Churchill and Gerald Levy
Book Cover

PB: $33.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0784-9
Publication: Jun 12

HC: $86.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0783-2
Publication: Jun 12

Ebook: $33.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0785-6

234 pages
6 x 9

Challenging the common idea that education can save the individual and society from major problems of the modern world

Read the Introduction (pdf).


The Enigmatic Academy is a provocative look at the purpose and practice of education in America. Authors Christian Churchill and Gerald Levy use three case studies—a liberal arts college, a boarding school, and a Job Corps center—to illustrate how class, bureaucratic, and secular-religious dimensions of education prepare youth for participation in American foreign and domestic policy at all levels. Exploring how youth and their educators encounter the complexities of ideology and bureaucracy in school, The Enigmatic Academy deepens our understanding of the flawed redemptive relationship between education and society in the United States. Paradoxically, these three schools studied prepare students to participate in a society whose values they oppose.

Table of Contents

Introduction PART I Plufort College The Regional Atmosphere The Developmental Thrust The Symbiotic Community The Academic Trajectory The Sociopolitical Whirlpool The Socially Ironic Reality Screen The Public Relations Panorama The Competitive Strain Conclusion: The Bureaucratic Grip PART II Mountainview School The Brahmin Tone The Civil Service Intrusion The Embattled Entitlement Path The Clubbable Induction The Currency of Behavior The Leisured Deviance Realm Conclusion: Rentier Incorrigibility in Academe PART III Landover Job Corps Center History: Profit Motives, Local Fears, Violent Outbreaks Approaching Landover The RIver to the Job Responses to Institutionalized Failure Students: “It’s A Risky Place” Conclusion: The Veil of Ennui Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author(s)

Christian J. Churchill is Professor of Sociology at St. Thomas Aquinas College, author of numerous articles in sociology, and a licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in Manhattan.

Gerald E. Levy is a sociologist and author of Ghetto School: Class Warfare in an Elementary School. He taught at the college level for forty years and is now retired.