credentialism

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credentialism

the allocation of persons to social positions, especially occupations, on the basis of specific paper qualifications. Though these qualifications are, in particular, educational ones, this does not necessarily lead to either education for socially relevant need, or improved performance in occupations. There is a high demand for jobs in modern economies, which leads to considerable competition among applicants. The requirement is for educational credentials (certificates, diplomas, degrees), which regulate the flow of manpower. The pursuit of such credentials becomes an end in itself, leading to what Dore (1976) called the ‘diploma disease - see also Berg's The Great Training Robbery (1970). The form and content of education is of secondary importance. What is of primary significance is the level of qualification attainable. The process is criticized as failing to meet the real needs of industrial societies because it tends to serve mainly as a method of selection in the entry to occupations, rather than providing a preparation for them (see SCREENING). It is also criticized for frustrating many of those who embark on higher education hoping to advance occupationally since the number of appropriate jobs does not expand to match the expansion in the numbers qualified’ to fill such posts.

An identical process, although potentially more insidious in its implications (according to Dore), is the way in which, in THIRD WORLD countries, credentialism and the attempt to emulate Western systems of secondary and higher education leads to the expansion of educational systems in a form which is inappropriate to the needs of the economies of these societies. For both developed and less-developed economies, however, the counter-argument can be made that the thesis of‘credentialism’ undervalues the intrinsic value of extra education, both in employment, in providing specialist as well as general transferable skills (see also HUMAN CAPITAL. POSTCAPITALIST SOCIETY), and as a consumption good pursued for its own sake, rather than merely for reasons of gaining employment (see SOCIAL DEMAND FOR EDUCATION). See also GRADUATE LABOUR MARKET, HIGHER EDUCATION.

References in periodicals archive ?
Nos resultats montrent que le marche du travail dans la ville est tout a fait << credentialist >> car les diplomes sont regulierement demandes a l'embouche.
The dominance of public sector hiring rules gradually led to a credentialist equilibrium in which students invested in high school diplomas and university degrees but had to wait a long time in queues for government jobs.
This notion of social closure is typically identified with wider occupational groups, and the tying of professional knowledges to the pursuit of exclusionary, credentialist strategies.
In some brief concluding thoughts, Witz also refutes monolithic versions of the state as an agent of male social control, suggesting, for instance, that women's professional ambitions have historically been more often frustrated by credentialist struggles and satisfied in legal challenges.
This is what Zapata (2009) calls the governance hypothesis, such that if the government confronted immigrant integration inclusively, offering them civic instead of credentialist citizenship, or stopped reassuring the population about its efforts to control flows, the negative sentiment towards the outgroup would be even greater.
It's an opportune time, if there ever was one, to cut through the credentialist kudzu and recognize that not every good teacher is good at research, and not every good researcher is good at teaching.
Shabbir, Tayyab (1993) Productivity-Enhancing Vs Credentialist Effects of Schooling in Rural Pakistan.
The credentialist view that education does not improve productivity--that it rather provides positive signals about productivity--is also tested.
1993) Productivity Enhancing vs Credentialist Effects of Schooling in Rural Pakistan.
Incidentally, it may be noted as well that in Shabbir (1991), a study of the credentialist effects of schooling in Pakistan, I have reported the estimates for a MEF that are based essentially on the same national data set as has been used in the present paper.
2) By and large, the available empirical evidence both for the developed as well as the developing countries seems to suggest that, while there may be some truth to the credentialist story, investment in education does enhance productivity substantially.
In addition to the screening critique of the human capital interpretation, there is the credentialist critique in which the link between earnings and labour productivity is challenged.