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Why do educational degrees of any kind, especially advanced degrees, matter if there are only part-time service industry jobs waiting for graduates? In this article, the reduced labor market experienced by graduate students seeking tenure-track positions as professors is couched as one example within a much larger context that includes the following: contradictory political and public messages about American workers, the de-professionalized working conditions of K-12 teachers (teaching as a service industry), and the increasingly antagonistic mischaracterizations of tenure and unions expressed by politicians, the public, and the media.
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