Equality of Educational Opportunity - Equality of...

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Equality of Educational Opportunity Bryan Higel St Petersburg College Sociology of Education Dr. Lechner This paper will explore three major components in the struggle for equal opportunity. No matter where the struggle is being experienced, be that occupational,
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religious, or as will be discussed in this essay, three components within the struggle for equality of educational opportunity, the difficulties faced by people still fall under the same categories. Social class, racial, and gender class differences are not the only difficulties people face, but they will be what is discussed within the scope of this essay. Social class differences stem from a few major parts. One being from caste systems (perhaps an outdated term) based on wealth, or family occupation. Another social class difference is related to cultural behaviors. A term used in our textbook chapter 3, “cultural capital”, consists of knowledge of culture and preferences, speech, dress, physical appearance, and the level of education. Cultural capital is a term that can be applied to many of the aspects that will be discussed further. If one is born into a family that can give the person many advantages to life through opportunity, this will set the person down a path that will make them more fortunate than others that are compared with, and who are similar in age, gender, and have reached the same milestone moments in their respective lives. Gender differences stem from a longstanding, and rather foolish opinion by men that women are unable to reach the same levels of success that men can. Nevermind that quite often women have not received simply the opportunity to even get to try, For those women who are fortunate enough to have been able to further their education, their grades rate as some of the highest in the class. However those opportunities did not come easy. As recent as the mid twentieth century, and quite possibly long before that, children have been subliminally programmed to identify what are their toys based
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on gender. Later in life, it has to play a role, at least subconsciously, that boys who played with construction equipment toys were more important and more useful, than the pretty dolls the girls were playing. Additionally, a “hidden curriculum” exists for all students to understand society’s values and beliefs. This is subtly gleaned via rules and routines within the student’s school. The third component that will be covered is racial differences. This part comes from centuries of humans treating other humans as less than themselves all due to the other person having more or less melanin in their skin. There is a similarity that can be noted between gender differences and racial ones. That being a lack of opportunities led to the discrepancy in success for both genders and races. It has been a slow process for America to right the wrongs of racial inequalities. We are still not where we should be yet in terms of real equality, but through the decades, progress continues to be made.
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