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Title: School's Out Forever: The Decline of Catholic Education in the United States
Authors: MacGregor, Carol Ann
Advisors: Wuthnow, Robert
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: Catholic Schools
Contemporary Catholicism
Organizational Decline
Subjects: Sociology
Sociology of education
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: At their peak in the mid-20th century Catholic schools in the United States enrolled twelve percent of the school-aged population. In 2010, they educated roughly five percent of school aged children. In the mid-1960s, there were over 13,000 Catholic schools in the United States. In 2010, they numbered fewer than 7,000, and projections suggest a sustained pattern of decline. This dissertation aims to document this dramatic change in the American educational landscape and offer explanations for the decline of this particular form of religious organization. Using extensive data from The Official Catholic Directory, the United States Census, and other secondary data sources, as well as archival documents and local newspaper accounts, I consider how demographic, organizational, and religious change have led to such dramatic declines in this key component of the private school sector in the United States. I argue that Catholic education in the United States has undergone a period of profound change that includes the breakdown of traditional organizational forms and patterns of behavior, the dislodging of belief systems, and the dismantling of governance structures dominant in earlier periods. I suggest that given previous literature that argues Catholic schools benefit urban minority students and students whose parents have low education, these changes have potentially important consequences for educational inequality in America.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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