IN 1979, in a short book called “The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class,” the sociologist Alvin Gouldner took up a question then being vigorously debated by social analysts: Did the student movements of the 1960s signal that the highly educated were on their way to becoming a major political force in American society?
Dr. Gouldner’s answer was yes. As a man of the left, he had mixed feelings about this development, since he thought the intelligentsia might be tempted to put its own interests ahead of the marginalized groups for whom it often claimed to speak.
Today, with an ideological gap widening along educational lines in the United States, Dr. Gouldner’s arguments are worth revisiting. Now that so many people go to college, Americans with bachelor’s degrees no longer constitute an educational elite. But the most highly educated Americans — those who have attended graduate or professional school — are starting to come together as a political bloc.
– The New York Times