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Unformatted text preview: The Tulane Experience through Durkheim and Weber College is this mystical place where students begin after high school and emerge four years later as changed people. Students enter an all-encompassing place, whose purpose is not only to educate them in a scholarly fashion, but also to prepare them for entrance into the adult world. Tulane students arrive as freshmen where they are quickly put through orientation and are thereby assimilated into the culture and community of the institution. The nature of a college education—four years spent primarily with ones peers —is quite an interesting idea. The individuals upon entrance compared with those at graduation are vastly different people. This process can perhaps be explained through sociological concepts of Durkheim and Weber. I employed Durkheim’s concepts of sui generis, collective conscience, religion and the cult of the individual, and moral education. For Weber’s perspective, I addressed his concepts of ideal types, values, rational-legal authority and charismatic authority. Durkheim’s underlying message is achieving solidarity between students and the Tulane experience. Weber’s concepts are more focused on power structures within the institution that is Tulane. Durkheim’s concept of ‘sui generis’-in and of itself- can be applied to the Tulane experience. Attending Tulane and living on-campus can be referred to as being part of the “Tulane Bubble”. This notion that everything we need exists within Tulane’s boundaries and while here we are immersed in this world and this world only. Everything the individual students truly need is available on campus: food, shelter, classes, socialization, and so forth. As freshmen, students are highly confined to this bubble that is Tulane. They live in dorms and have meal plans, giving them little reason to ever venture far off campus. Furthermore, freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus, which is another reason not to travel far. Those places that are technically off-campus but are within walking distance basically constitute part of the bubble as well, as the majority of people found there are, in fact, Tulane students. Personally, the farthest I ventured freshman year was a walk down Maple Street to the Walgreen’s on Carrollton. Aside from the occasional trip into the French Quarter, my time was spent on-campus and I was completely surrounded by and caught up in the Tulane culture. Even the common weekend activity of “going out” really only meant a walk down Broadway to fraternity parties, or perhaps a trek all the way to TJ Quills. Essentially, everything we wanted and needed was all so very close, giving us little reason to explore the city and leave our comfort zone of Tulane. This reality is common at many colleges. College students are not in the ‘real world’, but rather a realm of experience between childhood and adulthood in which their age group is segregated from the outside world and meant to learn not only...
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This essay was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course SOCI 322 taught by Professor Adams during the Fall '07 term at Tulane.
- Fall '07
- Social Theory