UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology
February 6, 2020
12:15pm to 1:45pm
352 Haines

Caitlin Zaloom, New York University, Anthropology

The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class experience in the United States today. As costs rise beyond what any could have predicted, students and parents alike agonize over whether to take on the burden of loans to try and achieve the promise of higher education. This talk will examine the hidden consequences of student debt, drawing on wide-ranging interviews with parents and students to examine how these conflicting contemporary pressures are transforming family life.

Caitlin Zaloom is a cultural anthropologist, an associate professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University, and Editor in Chief of Public Books. Her research examines emerging forms of knowledge and practice related to financial risk and technological and political change. She is the author of Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London (University of Chicago 2006) and Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost (Princeton University Press, September 2019), which examines how the financial economy has reshaped relationships between American parents and children around student debt.

Culture, Power, and Social Change is concerned with a broad range of issues in sociocultural anthropology. As the name of the group suggests, we are particularly interested in how the workings of culture, and of different forms of power and inequality, play out in the contemporary world. And behind these two issues are questions of social change, that is, of the ways in which the rapidly changing world of today impacts people’s lives, and in turn, how people in different circumstances seek to bring about change in the world. CPSC I hosts talks by both in-house faculty members and visiting post-doctoral and faculty level scholars; CPSC II hosts talks by advanced graduate students. All CPSC events are open only to UCLA faculty, students, and invited guests.