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Higher education has long been viewed as a public good that is important for the development of a nation-state and the creation of wealth. Higher education provides further training on the skills necessary to build one’s personal career. However, recent years have observed growing public concern in many developed economies about the marketization and quality of higher education. In identifying education as a public good, there exist positive externalities, but not all of the benefits accrue to students. In this regard, it is interesting to consider the thoughts of Gerald Graff in his 2001 article entitled ‘Hidden Intellectualism’.

In his article, Gerald Graff writes about the ongoing struggle between those regarded to be book-smart and those who are said to be street-smart. The author tries to make his readers understand that those who are not book-smart are also intellectuals in one way or another, despite society’s description that they are not. He also states that the community only views intellectuals to be those who understand things about Shakespeare, Plato, nuclear fission, and the French Revolution, without considering other things such as sports, fashion, dating, and video games to be intellectual.

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Throughout his work, Gerald Graff introduces the concept of channeling a student’s non-academic interest in the hope of coming up with a more analytical thinker. The author encourages his readers on the idea that intellectualism can be defined in broader wisdom that is comprehended. Gerald Graff feels that teachers and other professionals in the same field only consider traditional subjects intellectually valuable, a belief he seems to disagree with. He then concludes that students with a greater interest in fashion, sports, and culture should be put at the same level as academic thinkers. In addition, those with public education tend to be more active citizens, with their volunteering and other activities benefiting those living around them.

However, we see that in his article Gerald Graff offers no solution to the problems he proposes. He mainly focuses his literary work on common sense in the entire job. The author, nevertheless, spends a lot of time on a topic.

Throughout the essay, one will agree with Graff’s many assessments of what it means to be an intellectual. For instance, the author describes real philosophers as anyone who can “turn any subject, however lightweight it may seem, into grist for their mill through the thoughtful questions they bring to it” (Graff, 237). In general, there is a sense in the thoughts and views of the author.

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