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. 

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