Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Research Blog #10: Final Abstract and Works Cited

 There is a conflicting paradox in the merit-based system to grant educational access in higher education. The pursuit of higher education is a recognized method of upward class mobility, yet those in the lowest socioeconomic classes are relatively underrepresented in the demographics of students who attend college. This research analyzed ten works, varying from novels to academic journals, to deduct conclusions about the current governance of testocratic meritocracy in higher education and how it disables unequal educational opportunity for students with limited parental capital. This phenomenon is important to evaluate because unequal distribution of educational opportunity restricts potential for upward class mobility, which will concentrate wealth to the already wealthy. Students should not be penalized for their lack of parental class capital, however the disregard for testocratic merit’s actual value as a wealth-based merit hinders any change in educational democracy. The cycle of financial, social, and cultural prosperity will continue to circulate through higher education because of the hidden measure of testocratic merit. Paired with a pre-existing orientation to privileged students, the utilization of testocratic merit has corrupted the opportunistic intents of higher education. 

Works Cited
 Aisch, Gregor, et al. “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Jan. 2017, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Armstrong, Elizabeth A., and Laura T. Hamilton. Paying for the Party: How College
Maintains Inequality. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2013, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Bourdieu, Pierre. “The Forms of Capital.” Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, edited by J F Richardson, Greenwood Press, 1986, pp. 46–58, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Bourdieu, Pierre, and Jean-Claude Passeron. The Inheritors: French Students and Their Relation to Culture. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1979, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Carlson, Scott. “When College Was a Public Good.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 Nov. 2016, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Guinier, Lani. The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America. Boston, Beacon Press, 2016.

“Factors That Influence Success Among Racial and Ethnic Minority College Students in the STEM Circuit.” ASHE Higher Education Report, vol. 36, no. 6, 1 Jan. 2011, pp. 53–85. Ebscohost, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Karabel, Jerome. “The Dark Side of Meritocracy.” The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2005, pp. 555–557.

Mijs, Jonathan J. B. “The Unfulfillable Promise of Meritocracy: Three Lessons and Their Implications for Justice in Education.” Social Justice Research, vol. 29, no. 1, 11 Jan. 2015, pp. 14–34. Ebscohost, doi:10.1007/s11211-014-0228-0. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Rondini, Ashley C. “Healing the Hidden Injuries of Class? Redemption Narratives, Aspirational Proxies, and Parents of Low-Income, First-Generation College Students.” Sociological Forum, vol. 31, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 96–116. Ebscohost, doi:10.1111/socf.12228. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Literature Review #5: The Chosen

Karabel, Jerome. The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Print.
The segment of the reading I am utilizing is titled "The Dark Side of Meritocracy." Karabel summarizes Michael Young's original views on meritocracy with his studies concerning Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. Karabel specifically inquires about equal opportunity and how its affected by cultural capital. Karabel further discusses how the US is severely underfunded in education. Public spending on higher education ranks among the highest of 21 countries, while spending on social welfare ranks among the lowest. 

Karabel is a sociology professor at the University of California at Berkley. His main focal point in his study is American institutions of higher education. He received a BA and phD from Harvard University. He has been highly recognized with grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Education, and the Ford Foundation. 

A term of interest in this work is the idea of equality of opportunity to be unequal. This term composes the hidden definition of equal opportunity as well as the term higher education wants students to believe. Another term in question is a seemingly meritocratic society. This can be redefined as Guinier's term testocratic merit. 

"The upward mobility via education that followed from expanded educational opportunities, Young believed, created 'new conditions under which the lower classes no longer have a distintive ideology in conflict with the ethos of society any more than the lower orders used to in the heyday of feudalism'"(557). 

"Young also proved the prescient in predicting that a seemingly meritocratic society would prove far more tolerant of economic inequality that more obviously classbound societies" (556). 

“The upper classes are no longer weakened by self-doubt and self-criticism for the eminent know that success is just reward for their own capacity for their own efforts, and for their undeniable achievement. As for the lower classes they know that their inferior status is due not as in the past to a denial of opportunity, but to their own deficiencies”  (556).

Karabel's connections with cultural capital directly relate to my paper. Equal opportunity in higher education is greatly affected by parental cultural capital as it dictates not only intelligence but charecter. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Research Blog #9: Argument and Counter Argument

The counter-argument I chose to utilize to further exemplify a dimension of my thesis focuses on the effects in lack of cultural capital. This portion of my paper argues that the lack of cultural capital is a disadvantage, however in "Healing the Hidden Injuries of Class? Redemption Narratives, Aspirational Proxies, and Parents of Low-Income, First-Generation College Students" Ashley Rondini argues that this can be seen as an advantage. Rondini quotes the success of minority, Lydia, to prove her case. However, Rondini fails to acknowledge the rarity of success stories like Lydia, as well as the challenges she will face upon entrance into higher education. All incoming students are subjected to a change in culture, however minority groups have an extra step to overcome. Typically, minority groups have trouble assimilating into predominantly white culture, if they were not previously exposed to it before. The intergenerational “accultural gap” experienced by children of minority parents foster the added burden of cultural assimilation into the predominantly White universities, along with adjustments to campus culture. According to Tinto, there is a clear difference in academic success between students who quickly assimilate into the new culture and those who can not. The lack of cultural capital shared by the majority is an upcoming disadvantage for Lydia, despite her initial success.

Research Blog #8: Case

The case study I utilized in my paper came from Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron's collaborative work The Inheritors: French Students and Their Relation to Culture. Above is a table of data collected from the study. The conclusions of the study state that “a senior executive’s son is eighty times more likely to enter a university than a farm worker’s son, and forty times more likely than an industrial worker’s son; and he is twice as likely to enter a university even a lower-rank executive’s son”  (Bourdieu & Passeron 2). This case study aims to clearly indicate how parental occupation and probability of access are directly related by studying the polar extremes of levels in social capital. The data is collected from parental occupations ranging from farm workers, farmers, domestic servants, industrial works, clerical workers, lower-rank executives, and senior executives.