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.
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.