Class Warfare (Kindle)
F their success were completely assured and effortless This book makes it clear that this is not the case Not because some of them fail but rather that these schools these best of schools have limited places and so they are seeking to provide something of a diverse experience for the students that do attend This book mentions Stevens book Creating a Class particularly in relation to how these schools seek to recruit their student populations As Stevens points out this often means seeking to have as many people of colour and students from as diverse a range of US states and potentially overseas students as the school can manage The problems this might cause for these students often therefore assumed to have been let in for the wrong reasons and therefore also of having ept out people like us can hardly help make these schools comfortable places for those marked other Thus the paradoxes of such admission policiesAnd so it proves These schools are almost exclusively for the very wealthy white students For others attending these schools this creates a very difficult environment As one student said in this it is hard to invite fellow students to your creates a very difficult environment As one student said in this it is hard to invite fellow students to your when you can t accommodate them in the same way there as they can at theirs This creates entire groups of outsiders within but is particularly true of people of colour People who often see themselves as white by the time the leave the school It was interesting that lunch tables were talked about as being like something out of Apartheid South Africa but other books I ve read seem to imply this form of segregation is virtually universal in the USThe last chapter of this book not the epilogue which I ll get to in a minute is probably the chapter that I found most interesting It is the chapter that points out the problems with the whole idea of creating socially elite schooling utterly
FOCUSED ON CREATING SOCIAL ADVANTAGE THROUGH on creating social advantage through in a market that is so precarious This is uestioned for a range of reasons not least the harm it does to so many children even among these winners but also because the costs of such an education that is the literal monetary costs are so huge and the likelihood of gaining the sort of social advantage such an education previously guaranteed have become so slight that the authors suspect something will eventually have to give It is very hard to now if this is the case or not people persist in doing what has always worked for a very long time after it has stopped working As someone said somewhere a town is a very good thing to build beside a river a city is a very bad thing to build beside a river unfortunately towns become cities The looming college debt crisis in the US is surely going to have some impact on education though admittedly it is much likely to have impacts lower down the caste system than those discussed hereThe epilogue was really worthwhile Too few books that report on research ever mention the messiness of their research process how the research was actually conducted how the data was analysed or collated or puzzled over The advantages and disadvantages of the researchers own backgrounds is something else that is very rarely mentioned This epilogue does exactly that and as such is a bit of an exemplar for how such a discussion ought to be presented in a book of this sort Lois Weis is something of a god I ve read other books by her and they are invariably and consistently brilliant This was likewise up to her usual absurdly high standardOh just one other thing I meant to mention In Reay s wonderful book Class Work yes there is a bit of a theme going on here with the use of class and all of its synonym meanings in these titles she says that parent invariably means mother in relation to school work But what was interesting here was that often both parents sought to be interviewed about their role in creating their child s distinctive educational pathway and in giving them something to bring to the table so as to allow them access to these most elite schools I found that particularly interesting and not something I would have been able to guess beforehand It looks like Lareau s concerted cultivation is increasingly reuiring the dedicated attention of both parents. Moreover they show how admissions into these schools with their attendant rankings are used to lock in or improve class standing for the next generation It’s a story of class warfare within a given class the substrata of which whether economically racially or socially determined are fiercely negotiated through the college admissions process In a historic moment marked by deep economic uncertainty anxieties over socioeconomic standing are at their highest Class as this book shows must be won and the collateral damage of this aggressive pursuit may just be education itself flattened into a mere victory banner. I m afraid I lack the patience to document all that is disappointing about this book I get to two stars only because it does a good job of describing the social interactions across racial groups in three above average public and private high schoolsTo begin with the book is poorly written laden with jargon and extraordinarily repetitious It also superimposes a concept of class struggle on the college process which is never documented by footnotes There are a lot of statements about what people value and how they behave that are simply assumed Most of what is covered in the book seems obvious to me we are #even fifty years after the Civil Rights movement in a racist #fifty years after the Civil Rights movement in a racist We are also in a culture increasingly dominated and controlled by the very rich How can we expect high schools to transcend the pressures engendered by these realitiesThe authors have a minimal understanding of how college admissions works They rely heavily on the Barron s guide and its college ratings These ratings are limited to admissions selectivity which the book finally acknowledges towards the end of the text and selectivity has no automatic correlation with prestige The US News rankings might have served better
My Experience In Admissions And experience in admissions and is that little attention is paid by families to Barron s I have never had a family mention the book for instance There is no proof in the book that families use this guide it is simply assumedThe acknowledgements indicate no interaction with anyone from the college admissions profession The authors seem ignorant of programs such as funded campus visits for disadvantaged students of all backgrounds but for the most part for students of color They also do not explore the financial pressures colleges face in trying to enroll classes while unable to fund a financial aid budget which would fully support diversity Missing too is the fact that disadvantaged white students are the most marginalized group in the college admission process and that a case can be made that Asian Americans can face particular admissions challenges from the most selective institutionsThere is a lot of discussion about how discriminatory it is that students of color are disproportionately placed in classes below the honors and AP level The problem is that in a society rampant with educational ineuality they arrive at these schools with academic deficits which make survival in too level classes a long shot at best The authors claim that tutoring and other inds of support are not available to help students overcome these deficits Maybe so at the three schools they investigated but in my experience it is common for this to be offered as much as is feasible But what would really be necessary would be for the students to take additional coursework over the summer which is not realistic emotionally or economically for students from lower income familiesCollege counselors are treated especially badly by the authors They are accused of being only concerned with achieving a strong set of college matriculation results rather than advancing the futures of students individually Yet the book points out that students of color do disproportionately well with placement in selective colleges even while saying that colleges don t seek out low income Black students My experience in handling calls from college counselors when I worked in admissions is that advocacy for disadvantaged students of color was typically passionate that it was for students from privileged backgrounds The problem seems to be that their nowledge of college counseling is based on interviews only with the counselors at the three schools where they performed their research and I suspect that the interviews were conducted in a way which was intended to support their thesis It is truly odd to see the term safety choice used than once when it has been obsolete in college counseling for uite some timeIt is pointed out that Black students do not meet with their counselors First of all many white students also do not The top of the class will make sure they have these meetings but this is a function of their coming from sophisticated families I have seem countless examples of counselors who refuse to let Black. Stories abound about the lengths to which middle and upper middle class parents will go to ensure a spot for their child at a prestigious university From the Suzuki method to calculus based physics from AP tests all the way back to early learning Kumon courses students are increasingly pushed to excel with that Harvard or Yale acceptance letter held tantalizingly in front of them And nowhere is this drive apparent than in our elite secondary schools In Class Warfare Lois Weis Kristin Cipollone and Heather Jenkins go inside the ivy yearning halls of three such schools to offer a day to day week by week look at .
Lois Weis Î 8 characters.
Students avoid meetings with them even to the point of hunting them down in the hall and making an appointment on the spotThere is unfortunately very little to recommend this book since there are so many better options available in the abundance of literature on the college admission process It also leaves me very disappointed in sociology as an academic discipline To me
this book is mostly this is the conclusion upon which I base my facts I have to doubt stronglybook is mostly this is the conclusion upon which I base my facts I have to doubt strongly looking at three schools can create any meaningful microcosm of the college admission process in the United States One of the defining ideas that I think about often is something I learnt from one of the books in my behavioural economics shelf can t for the life of me remember which one It was based on a story about a group of people studying medicine being asked about their fellow students and why they were studying medicine The people asked would say well it s obvious Mary ought to be a doctor everything about her tells you she should would be the ideal doctor in fact it is impossible to imagine her being anything else All well and good But then the researchers asked these same people so what about you And invariably they said something like I now right What about me I couldn t really tell you how I ve ended up here I sort of jumped into what looked like a stream a while ago and suddenly I ended up in a river and I ve been or less swept along ever since Others have essential traits we have contingent ones Others are what they were meant to be we are endlessly complex and uncertain because of it Most bad things in the world that end in ism racism ageism sexism classism are sustained by just these perspectives We can group entire nations of people entire religions that exist over endless nations so that they are all the same and then collectively blame each individual in these groups and all individuals in them collectively for the actions of any member of them just look at how we talk about Muslims but the most hideous excesses and abuses of power by us are invariably portrayed as a ind of mistake caused fundamentally by our good if somewhat misplaced intentions I thought about this a lot while reading this book The reason being that this book looks at those who ought to be considered the real winners in our society those who go to the most elite schools and therefore are likely to move from them into the ruling circles of our societies How they think of define and justify their advantage in what is supposed to be a meritocracy is obviously something I find endlessly fascinating But this wasn t the only thing this book looks at It also looks much closely at what our education system does to these children The point being that there is an ever diminishing pool of good jobs out there and lots and lots of people doing whatever it takes to elbow their way into those jobs The first thing that is necessary is to get into a good school not necessarily so that you get a better education per se but rather that you a good school not necessarily so that you get a better education per se but rather that you get the benefits that come via association These schools have names and so just attending provides benefits That is not to say that attending is all that is necessary The meritocracy myth is a complex one It reuires hard work but it is a myth in the sense that hard work alone won t get you to the top It reuires you to do the hardest possible subjects at school though even though you will probably never use any of the nowledge reuired to succeed in those subjects subjects such as Latin or the hardest mathematics but these subjects are not prized for their content but rather for their ability to confer distinction To succeed in such subjects reuires hard work dedication and application but it also reuires you to attend schools with the best teachers access to additional assistance from tutors and most importantly of all to be in a social location where the effort involved in learning a dead language or esoteric mathematics has some standing and some hope of providing a pathway to somewhere Something that is utterly improbable from most other social locationsThe point this book makes is that we often look at the winners in our society as if they too were all one class That is as His remarkable drive toward college admissions and one of its most salient purposes to determine class Drawing on deep and sustained contact with students parents teachers and administrators at three iconic secondary schools in the United States the authors unveil a formidable process of class positioning at the heart of the college admissions process They detail the ways students and parents exploit every opportunity and employ every bit of cultural social and economic capital they can in order to gain admission into a “Most Competitive” or “Highly Competitive Plus” university.