Essay Ain t No Making It Chapter Summaries

9170 Words Dec 13th, 2014 37 Pages
Chapter 1

Our achievement ideology is based on the idea that the U.S. is full of opportunity and anyone can accomplish success in our society if they work hard enough. Many grow up thinking education is the ladder that will allow for this social mobility and all you have to do is be willing to work hard enough to earn it. But what about children who grow up thinking differently? Why do some strive for high paying careers while others refuse school and are seemingly ok with staying working class? MacLeod challenges the notion that America is the land of opportunity with research he conducted while in college. He uses the research of several reproduction theorists to show that schools not only are not great equalizers, as most think, but
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The Brothers, however, value careers and are more optimistic about their futures. They see education as their ticket out of the projects and into a better future. The Brothers attribute lack of success on to personal inadequacy whereas the Hallway Hangers see lack of opportunity as just the way American works.

Chapter 1-5 QUESTIONS:
1) Do you agree that our educational system reinforces America's class structure? Which social reproduction theorist do you agree or disagree with most?
2) What do you think needs to change in order for our educational system to function properly and not reinforce class structures?
3) Why do you think our educational system has remained the same with no major structural changes for so long despite the fact there is plenty of evidence to suggest it is not working?
4) On page 42 the author says that racism in lower-class communities can be attributed to competition for scarce resources and economic opportunities. Do you think there is some value in this statement?
5) How do you think the differences in the two groups' (Hallway Hangers and the Brothers) lifestyle and background shape their lives and impact their future decision?
6) Why does the mentality of work differ so much between the two groups? Why do you think they have different views on social mobility?
7) Do you agree with the Brothers that the U.S. is an open society in which everyone can attain success and failure to do so is due to one's own failure to work hard

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