Sociology Exam 3

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What is sociology of education?

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What is sociology of education?

It is study of how its institutions and individuals experiences affect education and its outcomes.

-Sociological studies have shown how school patterns reflected, rather than challenged, class stratification and racial and sexual discrimination

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Brown vs Board of Education

-Was denied in 1954

-The schools were never equal

-Impact on learning: Kids thinking of themselves as inferior only impacted K-12 education

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Black Cultural Capital

-Bourdieu argued that peoples access to certain cultural signal like tastes, styles and mannerisms either helps or constrains their entry into higher status social groups, organizations, or institutions. Schools helps reproduce a stratified class system by bolstering the dominant social groups cultural capital.

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Oppositional Culture/Acting White

-Argues that racial discrimination and limited socioeconomic prospects compel some groups, especially Blacks, to form an antagonistic relationship to education; those who conform to the norms on educational institutions are thought of as “acting white” and this prevents some blacks from wanting to be successful in school.

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What are the major critiques of the oppositional culture or “acting white” approaches?

-African American students of all socioeconomic backgrounds largely hold fast to the dominant achievement ideology and idea of meritocracy

-There is a lot of evidence that suggest that poor Blacks believe in it more than those in the middle-class

Why might this be the case?

-The more exposure you have to white people the less likely you are to believe in meritocracy

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What is Prudence Carter specifically arguing?

  1. There are multiple forms of cultural capital- dominant and non dominant and each one of them have value in their own specific context:

  2. People use these forms of capital to achieve specific goals What are those goals? (Social mobility/ dominant capital and status positioning/ non-dominant capital in their communities)

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Why did black students try to protect the boundaries of blackness?

-Black students recognize that in many ways they were treated differently in schools.

-None of the students talked about acting smart was considered white. What they are opposing is how you talk, how you dress, and being “authentic.” The black students do not have a problem with getting good grades.

-Teachers were judging them based on their presentation of themself, based on how they dressed and how they talked.

-A lot of the racial gap in education has less to do with the educational performance and more on presentational performance.

-The author says that, “Certain cultural proclivities should have no bearing on individuals abilities to master many skills; yet many perceive that they do”

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Primary Goals of Education

  1. To teach basic academic skills and knowledge and

  2. To transmit to students particular cultural orientations, values, and attitudes

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The teachers behaviors though, the highlights the dilemma that teachers face in schooling Black students. “They understand the importance of cultivating a positive group identity in the students and boosting self-esteem, but they also understand the importance of imparting to students normative standards of behavior and deportment.” (P. 335).

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Jay Rosner

-Executive director of the Princeton Review Education

-Makes the argument that “Every single question carefully appeared on the test”

-A significantly higher percentage of white than black students answered correctly EVERY question prescreened and chosen to appear on the SAT.

-Latino’s only fair a little bit better than Blacks

-If high score test takers who are more likely to be White tend to answer the question correctly in protesting, its deemed a worthy SAT question.

-Thus, racially disparate scores drive question selection, which, as the author argues, press produces racially disparate test results.

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Why do companies do this?

-They want you to buy the SAT books and pay money for all the prep.

-This is one of the reason why it is done. Because it is a business, and it makes money.

-Its all about money (books, testing, tutors)

-Due to this Rosner asks: “What’s wrong with admitting some Black students with lower SAT scores, when every question favors Whites?”

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Legacies and Higher Education

-Legacies are three times more likely to be accepted to Harvard than other students with similar records

-The average admitted legacy was significantly less qualified than the average admitted non legacy

-Legacies make more of the “preferential pie” than any other category of student combined

-People argue legacies are a form of affirmative action

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More on Legacies

-They wanted to keep Jewish people out. A Jewish college was formed because their students were being systematically reject from other institutions. Jews were being rejected from elite universities.

-Princeton was the first university to stop giving legacy admissions around 2000. Found their was a dip in alumni giving for 5 years, then it went back to normal rates. The elite institutions can afford a 5 year dip.

-People assume that if the parents can get in, then their kids can too (mindset that they must be smart, even though that’s not true and ways to get accepted into a university change)

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Legacy Admissions

-30 top colleges children of alumni have a 45% greater chance of admission

-Being a legacy is equivalent to 160 additional SAT points

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Bowen & Bok’s Research

-William Bowen, past president of Princeton University, and Derek Bok, past president of Harvard, conducted research of students accepted into these two prestigious Universities and compared how well students admitted under affirmative action compared to students who were not accepted under affirmative action over a 40 year time span.

-Found that students who were admitted under affirmative action policies did no better and no worse than those who were NOT admitted under affirmative action.

-Further, SAT scores are not a good predictor of college successes.

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Bowen & Bok’s Second Study

-Followed 80,000 under grad students from 28 selective colleges/universities and compared those who were admitted under AA practices verses those who were not in terms of academic success, employment and personal success

-There weren’t any statistically significant differences in their overall outcomes.

-Currently 8 states ban affirmative action in college admissions

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Abigail Fisher V The University of Texas, Austin

-Fisher II was decided by an unusual majority of justices with the vote being 4-3. The majority opinion was authored by Justice Kennedy and joined by justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor

-Justice Kagan recused herself and Justice Scalia died before the case ended. Therefore, the outcome could have been different.

-She went all the way to the Supreme Court but she lost the case.

-There are 5 different categories of affirmative action

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Metastereotypes & Race on Campus

-Stereotypes’? Thoughts on someone without any evidence that it is true

-Racial stereotypes? About racial groups

-Metastereotyes (in regards to black-white relations)? The target group (racial minorities) their stereotypes about people who are stereotyping them

-Why is it important to study metastereotypes? How does this impact students of color?

-Double consciousness, being aware of the way the dominant group is stereotying you

-Black people thought that the white people thought that black people were less intelligent and that they didn’t have the merit to be at the college and that they were not performing as well as the white students. (The stereotype was right according to the survey at the univerity) The author is saying the black students thoughts were correct -What were the consequences for the black students? It makes black student feel unwelcome. Research shows that is students do not feel welcome on campus they are less likely to preform well

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-They found that white students have lots of stereotypes about black students.

-Which group of students were more diverse, black students or white students? Black students are more likely to be diverse than white students

-How did whites explain racial segregation on campus, especially in regards to the Du Bois Housing which was predominately Black occupied?

-How did Blacks explain racial segregation on campus?

-Black students affirm each other (racism is the reason for black segregation)

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Power Analysis Approach

-Develops an understanding of privilege, power, and the historical roots of racial oppression.

-The focus is more on groups. (People of color tend to like this approach more)

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Diversity Approach

-Diversity is highlighted but there isn’t an analysis of the historical roots of racial oppression.

-The focus leans towards individualism. (White people tend to like this approach more)

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-We are the wealthiest country on earth but we have the highest poverty rate. Makes the argument asking if we are morally developed. We can have the most money on the planet but also the most poverty. -50% of the people in the US use food stamps. Why is this in the wealthiest country in the US? -Because we are so super tatted by social class people who don’t use food stamps don’t know that more than half of children will use food stamps in their life time. -The bottom 60% only control 1% of US wealth. Very few people control the wealth in the US (Very few people are deciding where wealth should go and where money is spent) -2/3rd of the countries black children grow up in areas of concentrated poverty (Most people do not know that due to class and race) Social interactions shapes economic systems

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The Three Main Problems with the traditional ideas of poverty

  1. The main problem is that we think of poverty as an individual issue (He makes the argument that not all 2/3 children are making bad choices. We have to think about how to uplift groups of poverty)

  2. It is is not just a problem of the poor but a problem of the wealthy. Poverty is expensive. A lot of money goes to social programs to address poverty.

  3. Poverty increases crime

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What was the primary pathways out of Harlan county for blacks?

-For males it was through athletics and the military. This was a way for them to find employment in Harlan or get athletics scholarships to leave Appalachia.

-The parents wanted their children to leave because their was nothing there for them and they didn’t want them to get stuck in Appalachia.

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What is the significance of Memorial Day and the eastern Kentucky social club?

-Every Memorial Day people who have left come back home to Appalachia to celebrate their roots. This group is important for keeping cultural identify and it provides a network for black Appalachian youth to find a way out of Appalachia.

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-Wants to reshape the narrative and says their may be a time their may not be black Appalachian’s because the Kentucky social club is doing such a good job getting pot black people out of that area.

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What is the American dream?

-The idea that you can come from nothing and make it something

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Myth V Reality

-Jeffrey Jencks, statistician- 57-76% of a persons success or failure is due to family backround

-National Research Council (NRC): The US “the most unequal distribution of wealth than any other industrialized country in the world.”

-Every 1,000 people born into poverty in the US only 1 will make it out

-“I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see any American dream- I see an American nightmare” -Malcolm X

-The middle class is not growing the US, it is actually shrinking.

They are not moving up, they are moving down

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Possessive Investment in Whiteness (Lipsitz)

-The U.S if a fairly young country and we are not too far removed from slavery and Jim Crow

-Slavery: 265 years Segregation: 99 years Free: 51 years -Highlights how laws and social policy

-Saying their is progress and then not progress (we go back and forth)

-Saying that just by being white even when you compare people with similar credit history, it is harder to get a loan if you are black

-Idea of false scarcity (black communities have to pay more for houses even when the houses are worth less)

-Home ownership is where most people have their wealth

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Civil Rights Act of 1964

-1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public accommodations and employment; authorized the attorney general to bring school desegregation suits and the federal government to withdraw funds from schools and other governmental entities receiving federal funds if they discriminated; and provided enhanced enforcement mechanism.

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1968 Civil Rights Act

-Provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin and made it a federal crime to injure or initiate anyone based on their.

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Jones v Alfred H Mayer Co (Missouri)

-Prohibited purely private discrimination in the sale or rental of property

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1968 Green V County School Board of New Kent County (Virginia)

-Reversed the decision of the Virginia court of appeals that supported separate schools for whites and blacks

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How did Urban renewal help construct a “new” white identity?

-People were leaving inner cities and going to suburbs. This destroyed black communities because their homes were torn down and often times they were not rebuilt.

-This means they had to move. Often time highways were put right in the middle of black communities so white people could get through the city in order to get to and from work.

-Urban renewal was good for middle class white people, but was devastating for black communities.

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Lipsitz believes whiteness can be a matter of life and death. How does the author support such a claim?

-Toxic waste dumps are put in black communities which can lead to nutritional problems and health problems.

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-Refers to a flow of money over time; like a rate per hour, week, or year from work, retirement, or social welfare programs

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-What people own. Wealth signifies the command over financial resources that have been inherited across generations (Where history ends up in your pocket)

-Created opportunities

-Taps contemporary resources and material assets that have historical origins

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Sociology of Wealth

-Economists usually argue that racial differences in wealth are a consequence of disparate class and human capital credentials, such as age, education, experience, and skills.

-A sociology of wealth, however, seeks to properly situate the social context in which wealth generation occurs.

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Radicalization of State Policy

-How state policy has impacted the ability of many people of African descent to accumulate wealth.

-State barriers to Black economic self-sufficiency

-Homestead Laws: government provided free materials and animals to help colonize westward. However in order to make use of the homestead policies you had to be a white male

-New Deal Legislation, Social Security Act of 1935

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New Deal Legislation

-National recovery administration worked to reduce “destructive competition” by offering whites jobs first and has a seperate, lower pay scale for blacks

-The federal housing administration was created by congress in 1934 to unsure loans for construction and repairs of homes. White middle class families could buy suburban homes with little or no down payments. However, the FHA had an explicit policy of not insuring auburn mortgages for African-Americans

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Social Security Act of 1935

-Provided a safety net for millions of workers by guaranteeing them an income after retirement

-Excluded agricultural and domestic workers

-This was NOT by mistake (The Color of Welfare) This was a negotiation between southern and northern states. Feared that poor whites and poor blacks on a similar social scale. It was not explicitly racial, but the vast majority of agricultural and domestic workers were black, so it impact African Americans more

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G.I Bill (the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944)

-86% of the skilled and semiskilled jobs were filled by whites, 92% of the unskilled ones by Blacks

-Only approximately 7% of mortgages insured by the GI Bill were issued to Blacks

-This bill was a way to reward soldiers for their participation in the war

What was the issue of the GI Bill?

-It stopped black people from being able to accumulate wealth

-It expanded the wealth gap

86% of the benefits of this bill went to the white soldiers and not the black soldiers

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Economic Detour

-The restrictions from participation in business on the open market, especially from the American Civil War period to the middle of the 1900s.

-Helps us understand the relatively low levels of Black entrepreneurship

-“Black” markets

-Blacks were the only racial group restricted to Blacks markets. Asians, Latinas, etc could open up buisnesses anywhere and develop “niche” markets

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-Johnson Publishing (millionaires from Chicago, they were poor)

-They were a publishing company. They sent their magazine anywhere they wanted. They were located in one of the poorest neighbors in Chicago

-Madame CJ Walker

-Lived in a desegregated neighborhood but worked far away. Advertised her products in the magazine to advertise her stuff and she would mail them to her.

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Sedimentation of Racial Inequality

-The cumulative effects of the past on current day economics between racial groups

-Whereas Blacks have has “cumulative disadvantage” Whites have had “cumulative advantages”

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New Work (NW)

-Conveys the straightforward value of all assets minus and debts

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Net Financial Assets (NFA)

-Excludes equity accrued in property (example home) from the calculation of a households available resources

-According to Francine Blau and John Graham, over 75% of wealth differences between whites and blacks appears to be related to race, even when controlling for income

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Who is on the Edge?

-Households with zero or negative NFA

White 25.3%

Black 60.9%

“Hispanic” 54.0%

-Households without NFA for 6 months

White 43.2%

Black 83.1%

“Hispanic” 77.2%

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Pew Research Center

-Since the 2008 stock market crash and the following recession, white wealth (including NW and NFA) increased to 20 times that of blacks and 13 times that of hispanics

-What the 2011 PEW study has found is that the recession has exacerbated racial differences in wealth exponentially, thus making the wealth racial divide even harder to overcome for future generations

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Du Boisian and the I’s of Inequality

1. Ideological

2. Institutional

3. Interpersonal

4. Internalized

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-First, any oppressive system as its core the idea that one group is somehow better than another, and in some measure has the right to control the other group

  • This is both explicitly and implicitly “done” through words and institutions)

    -Big picture (macro view)

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-The idea that one group is better than another group and has the right to control/monitor/constrain the other is historically formed and gets embedded in the institutions of the society- the laws, the legal system and police practice, the education system and schools, hiring polices, public policies, housing development, media images, political power, etc.

-Over generations





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-The idea that one group is better than another and has the right to control the other, which gets structured into institutions, gives permission and reinforcement for individual members of the dominant group to personally disrespect to mistreat individuals in the oppressed group

-Face to face interactions

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-The idea that one group is better than another and has the right to control the other, which gets structured into institutions, gives permission and reinforcement for individual members of the dominant group to personally disrespect to mistreat individuals in the oppressed group

-When people start to believe that it is true

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DuBois main ideas regarding his views on Sociology?

  1. You can’t have good sociology without good history

  2. The 4 I’s Du Bois said in order to understand sociology

  3. Double consciousness (seeing yourself from the eyes of the more dominant group)

  4. Essentialism vs Constructunalism (move away from essentialism idea to the constructionalism views of ideas)

  5. A lot of sociologist were focused on macro/institutions. He was really focused on the interpersonal and subjectivity. He was saying we have to talk about the big picture as well as the interpersonal so we have to talk about the subjectivity.

    Subjectivity- your impressions of yourself and how you fit in and navigate the world (Brown talks a lot about it) your experiences interpret your opinions on things

What are the Sociological contributions to the idea of subjectivity and where you place yourself in the world? Subjectivity is made externally and then you internalize it. Your outside circumstances are going to shape how internalize it. (Internalize is secondary to externalize)

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When did the Bacon’s Rebellion occur? Why is this important?


-Nathaniel Bacon- Irish person who helped organize the servant class and bond laborers to revolt against the government

-Burned Jamestown to the ground

-Palnters ere frightened because working class men and women were the majority of the colony’s population

-First legalized racial categories: white, black, Indian

How is this Du Boisian?

-Du Boisian logic: although colonists reconfigured physical diversities in their population, until the end of the 17th century they had not get imposed social meanings on them.

-Slavery became not just an economic institution, but also a social institution that conferred legal, psychological and material privileges to people defined as “white”

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What did Susie Phipps do?

-According to genealogists Susie had her 3/32 her great great great grandmother was an enslaved African women by the name Marguerite. She thought she was white.

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The social order of the U.S is found on what two ingredients in Roberts book?

  1. The dehumanization of Africans on the basis of race

  2. The control of women’s sexuality and reproduction

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What reinforced the one drop rule?

-Susie Phipps and Plessy V Ferguson

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Who was Takao Ozawa?

-Takao Ozawa was a Japanese an who filed for citizenship under Naturaloization Act of 1906

-This allowed white persons and persons of African descent or African nativity to naturalize

-Asians termed an “unassimilateable race” and not entitled to citizenship

-Ozawa attempted to have Japanese classified as “white”

-He claimed his skin is “white”

-1922, Supreme Court

-Denied naturalized citizenship status

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What helped organize and empower black people after the Emancipation?

-The church


-The Freedams Burrow

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Monogeny vs Polygeny

Monogeny: The prevailing theory in the 18th century suffered that so called races were members of the same species and had..

Polygeny: Suggested that different races were actually different species, or sub species, with distinct biology and geographical origins. This was a particularly “American school” of thought that corresponded with the political and culutral debates around slavery in the United States

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The Bacons Rebellion was a revolt by the servant class against who? What is Bacons Rebellion?

Nathaniel Bacon- An Irish person who helped organize the servant class and bond laborers to revolt against the government

-Burned Jamestown to the ground

-Planters are frightened because working class men and women were the majority of the colony’s population

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Who were the first slaves brought to North America?

-The Irish but they were not slaves, they were indigious servants

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Affirmative Action

-Using policies to increase racial diversity (legacy admissions- lower SAT score, lower GPA’S, different states)

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What is the most violent organization out of the Big 4?

-The Student Nonviolent Committee

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James Meredith

-The first grad student to go to schools at the University of Mississippi, he was attacked by the KKK but was not killed

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