Education Paper

Education Paper - Emily Alma Castro/Veronica Johnson Friday...

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Emily Alma Castro/Veronica Johnson Friday Section 4 (11:15-12:05) Agency and Social Structure affecting the Future In today’s society the popular belief is that the baby boom population is “creating a demographic boomlet” (Tyre 2). The result of this “demographic boomlet” is believed to be the reason as to why well-qualified students are being rejected from colleges across the nation. According to the article, “last year, about three-quarters of the four-year colleges and universities recorded an increase in the number of applications from the previous year” (Tyre 1). Contrary to popular belief, the hidden reason as to why colleges are increasingly becoming more competitive is because the social structure of today’s society is more important than one’s agency. Social structure, described as the social arrangements within one society, is more significant than agency, a person’s ability to make free choices, because social structure is more involved in determining one’s college path to success than one’s agency. Although the argument for social structure is supported more by evidence than agency, it does not mean agency is not one of the key components in determining the path to college. Agency does have a slight affect in determining the path to college. The slight affect in determining the path to college is portrayed as important because it is someone’s ability to make choices. The ability to make choices is vast and there are multiple options one has to consider. In the book Tearing Down The Gates: Confronting The Class Divide in American Education by Peter Sacks, Ashlea Jackson of Garden City is a clear 1
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example of how a person from a low class society fights their way into the college process through many high and low times during high school. Ashlea’s parents both did not go to college, and she did not have many other authority figures to help her throughout her troubles in high school, therefore she had to make her own choices without any help. When Sacks asked Ashlea “whether her emphasis on the importance of school came from within her or from her parents” she replied; “No, it is coming from me,” she said. “I want to go somewhere. I do not want to be like my brothers. And my parents know that, and they are really proud of that. That are basically telling me, you know, we just want you to be happy and go as far as
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course SOCI 106 at UMass (Amherst).

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Education Paper - Emily Alma Castro/Veronica Johnson Friday...

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