Analysis Of Sanford J. Ungar's The New Liberal Arts

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A number of American policymakers have come to scrutinize liberal arts education. They say that the liberal arts are dead, that it’s an irrelevant field to pursue, especially if students come from a low-income family; that they will not get a good job with a liberal arts degree. Sanford J. Ungar responds to these claims in his essay, “The New Liberal Arts”. Misperception No. 2 in “The New Liberal Arts” says that “College graduates are finding it harder to get good jobs with liberal arts degrees” (228). Ungar points to one of the many misperceptions that the business community holds. In one way, what they’re saying is correct; a student with a degree in philosophy or French may struggle to find a job. However, Ungar makes it clear that the …show more content…

3, “The liberal arts are particularly irrelevant for low-income and first-generation students” (228). Sanford J. Ungar, President of Goucher College, which is a small liberal arts school, believes the reasoning behind this statement is that they feel like students from low-income families should pursue a major that’s practical rather than attempting to pursue something that maybe is not as guaranteed to get you a good paying job, like literature or physics. He points out that this is prejudice, and that it’s making the insinuation that people in the lower class are merely bodies that carry out the ideas of the wealthier, upper class. Ungar says, “It is condescending to imply that those who have less cannot understand and appreciate the finer elements of knowledge” (228). He proceeds to let the audience know that in his experience, he has found that “people who are the newest to certain ideas and concepts, are usually the people who approach the job with a more open and creative mind”; we should respect what everyone has to offer. Sanford persists that having the business community push people of lower-income to pursue only the more practical and “marketable” jobs instead of those that involve more critical thinking is not what America is about. He says that America is a country where you can come from nothing and still grow up to be a successful human being who can think for themselves, and I

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