Decades inside the box

June 28, 2012

That the expansion of college education in the US means that bright children are now more likely to attend prestigious universities and marry other intelligent people than they were a century ago has long been known (The week in higher education, 14 June). As Malvina Reynolds' Little Boxes (1962) puts it:

And the people in the houses

All go to the university, And they all get put in boxes

Little boxes, all the same

And there's doctors and there's lawyers,

And business executives,

And they're all made out of ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same ...

And they all have pretty children

And the children go to school

And the children go to summer camp

And then to the university

And they all get put in boxes

And they all come out the same.

Peter B. Baker, London

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