A Poor Ideal Analysis

2032 Words 9 Pages
The image of inner cities across America is often seen under a negative light that conveys a message of poor ideals. In reality, people living in inner cities share the same values and goals of the larger society. To achieve upward mobility, to gain stability, to gain respect, and to contribute to society are all ideals that traverse class and geography. However the methods by which these ideals are achieved can vary greatly. The behavior of inner city residents reflects their reality. The traditional middle class path towards attaining mobility, stability, respectability, and contribution does not account for the realities of poor inner cities. In these places, alternate paths towards achievement must be followed. Promises I Can Keep and Doing the Best I Can show the struggle for achievement in the inner city neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The former, by Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas follows poor women and their commitment to motherhood. The latter, by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. …show more content…
A dream that brings with it respect. However, this dream is just exponentially more difficult to attain for poor people in inner cities than it is for the middle class because systematic boundaries hold back the poor. As Edin and Kefalas describe, “[…] the rare exception to the neighborhood rule [is] the one who avoids early pregnancy, finishes high school, completes college, gets married, moves to the suburbs, and has children¬, in that order,” (65). So critical in becoming “the exception” is the order in which these tasks are completed. The children come last so that they can ideally arrive in a stable home with sound foundations. But being unable to avoid early pregnancy and having a child terminates this path. The first steps of education become much harder to reach and progress down the path all but stops. The child, who blocked this first path, then becomes the alternate path to

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