Date of Degree

6-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Sociology

Advisor

Juan Battle

Committee Members

Stephen Steinberg

R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy

Subject Categories

Educational Sociology | Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity

Keywords

Black, Latino, minority, attainment, aspirations, achievement ideology, education, class, cultural capital

Abstract

Using a national sample of Black and Latino high school students, I ask: What is the relative impact of demographic factors, aspirations, adherence to an ideology of achievement, and sociocultural capital on future educational attainment? Additionally, how do poor students compare to their non-poor counterparts on these measures? Employing the Educational Longitudinal Study (2002 & 2012) and multivariate statistical techniques, this dissertation examines the role of cultural and other factors on the educational attainment of Black and Latino students and then explores the role of poverty on those outcomes.

In recent years educational reform efforts have placed considerable emphasis on reorienting minority students away from oppositional cultures and barren socioecological environments and toward modes of thought that are believed to produce better educational outcomes. Inadequate attention, however, has been paid to the degree that ostensibly positive sociocultural factors actually predict heightened educational attainment for marginalized minority students. As well, little attention has been paid to how socioeconomic status interacts with sociocultural factors and educational outcomes for those students. This longitudinal study questions the relationship between sociocultural factors, such as adherence to the achievement ideology, and future educational attainment of Black and Latino youth as well as the effects of class status on that relationship. The findings add to the current literature about race, class, culture, educational attainment, and the proper focus of educational reform efforts.

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