Soc 156 Assignment 2

Soc 156 Assignment 2 - Butler 1 Kayla Butler 203-706-009...

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Butler 1 Kayla Butler 203-706-009 Sociology 156/Section 1D November 21, 2011 Take Home Assignment 2: Educational Inequality Educational inequality in the United States has been an issue since the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Beginning with the education—or civilization—of Native Americans in boarding schools and continuing to the resegregation of education that is occurring today, educational inequality continues to be a constant issue and key argument for the lack of success obtained by certain minority groups (Desmond 2010). Although sociologists agree that this educational inequality exists, there is a lack of consent over what exactly causes the inequalities. As Desmond (2010) mentions, it is often argued that culture is to blame and not structure. By blaming educational inequality solely on cultural explanations and removing structural explanations from the argument, there is a failure to recognize the social and historical forces at work in America. As mentioned, a common argument for racial inequalities in education is culture. Geertz defines cultural patterns as “a template or blueprint for the organization of social psychological processes” that are essential because “human behavior is inherently extremely plastic” (as cited in Desmond 2010, p. 325-326). Cultural capital is defined as “the sum total of one’s knowledge of established and revered cultural activities and practices” (Desmond 2010, p. 321). Applying these definitions to racial inequalities in education is to say that certain racial and ethnic groups practice cultural patterns that set them up for educational success—or failure—and gain them cultural capital (Desmond 2010). One common example is the model minority myth that is
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course SOCIOLOGY 156 taught by Professor Susankim during the Fall '11 term at UCLA.

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Soc 156 Assignment 2 - Butler 1 Kayla Butler 203-706-009...

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