Christopher Newfield

is professor of literature at the University of Caifornia Santa Barbara. He is author of Ivy and Industry. Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980, Duke University Press 2003; and Unmaking the Public University. The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, Harvard University Press 2008.


Only a small “creative class” achieves the creativity and freedom attributed by stereotype to all knowledge workers, writes Christopher Newfield. Below this elite exist far more numerous “perma-temps”, who are highly qualified yet interchangeable. In the American university system, which has parallels in Europe, recipients of higher education are increasingly prepared for a working life in a knowledge economy where independence and social protections have been eroded.

Read in Journals