Yes, 19-year-old males, who typically prefer t-shirts and caps and jeans and cargo-shorts and other middle-school-appropriate attire, are urged to dress up and look like professional men. The initiative originated not in the administration, either. It was the conception of a Dillard senior, one Jerome Bailey, who realized at the end of his undergraduate career in 2012 that he didn’t realize at the beginning the meaning and value of proper deportment, including the type of clothing you wear.The life-management skills of the bourgeoisie confer an evolutionary advantage. Presenting one's self properly also does.
The goal of the program is “to elevate the standard for the appearance and image of Dillard men.” That adds a peer-pressure factor to the idea, which probably ensures its success more than would faculty and administrative support. For entering students who have no suit or tie, the school keeps a shared “closet” from which they can borrow the apparel they need. Professors and upper-classmen will assist them in learning how to tie a tie, too.
We might add another justification for sharp dress besides decency and manliness. When organizations query employers about the deficiencies they see in younger workers and candidates for jobs, the respondents often highlight poor “soft” skills. One poll by CareerBuilder asked them to name the skills recent college graduates lack the most. Topping the list was “Interpersonal or people skills,” which drew 52 percent. Math skills came in at only 15 percent, computing and technical prowess at 13 percent.No doubt, the Perpetually Aggrieved are already whining about "privilege" and "hegemonic biases" and all the rest. By their fruits shall ye know them. Evolutionary stable strategies confer evolutionary advantages, and adopters can do better by adopting them.
Another CareerBuilder poll reported that 77 percent workers report witnessing adolescent behaviors on the job, including whining, pouting, gossip and tattling, cliquishness, and outright tantrums.
Managers are worried, and any evidence of adolescence they see during the screening of candidates will be a disqualification. Another survey by the National Association of Manufacturers found that among the “most serious skill deficiencies” in the workplace was “Inadequate basic employability skills (attendance, timeliness, work ethic, etc.).
Males coming into college live largely in a world of pseudo-masculine youth culture. It is anti-intellectual, anti-eloquent, sloppy, irresponsible, and irreverent. Dillard is a historically black college, so we should add the hip-hop culture of misogyny and aggression to the mix. The values that go with it are contrary to the values of most workplaces. You can’t talk in young male lingo in a job interview, and you can’t dress that way. Everything must change—posture, diction, and manners. Put a young male in a suit and tie, and we see that process begin to happen.Start the socialization in kindergarten!
One of these days, social scientists will be able to evaluate, rigorously, the way in which so-called social constructions confer evolutionary advantages, or not, and persist, or not, and that will be the end of the conceit that rules or norms can be deconstructed or abandoned at will.
Let us also look forward to the day when social science carefully compares and contrasts market-based and kinship-based rules of allocation. I strongly suspect that the same ties that lead to kinship-based sharing also lead to what the identity politics crowd calls "othering" (presumably one of the lines of attack for deconstructing bourgeois norms.)
The article notes that young people who get away with transgressivity or authenticity or all the other enablings of yobbishness in the education system often reveal themselves as unemployable. What sort of evolutionary advantage does that confer?