A full report on, and informed critique of, a severe, rapidly worsening crisis in today's academic life, Beer and Circus argues that meaningful education is being replaced by sports-related partying on college campuses across the country. Combining an understanding of American culture with research culled from students, faculty, and administrators nationwide, Sperber (professor of English and American studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and author of several books on college sports) exposes several cherished myths about college sports.
He also shows how our "Big-time U." sports system is serving two vital aims—keeping students happy and keeping tuition figures high—with disastrous and perhaps irreversibly damaging results. Addressing such recent phenomena as binge drinking, national television sports coverage, corporate marketing and sponsorships, and the so-called "Flutie factor," Beer and Circus opens our eyes to a generation of students deprived of their education. This important work speaks as clearly and directly to students as it does to educators and policy-makers.
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Beer and Circus
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PART ONETHE RISE OF BEER-AND-CIRCUS1ANIMAL HOUSEThe 1960s marked a low point for the collegiate subculture onAmerican campuses; numerous fraternities and sororities downsized or closed their doors as some of their members, and many incoming students, joined the rebel subculture. But scores of Greek organizations, particularly at large public universities, survived the 1960s and, during the following decade, wanted to attract a new generation of college students. The popular film Animal House proved crucial to the recruiting campaign of the collegiate subculture.