Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Topic: Confirmed 

My topic has not differed much, rather expanded. In my last blog post, I explored two different topics-- one about how the socioeconomic status and demographic of parents shaped their child's career in higher education and their social mobility or lack thereof. My other topic was about how the privatization of higher education jeopardizes the freedom of lower income students. I have now decided to combine the two because I realized they are essentially the same. I will stick with my first topic, and instead talk about how a lower income student's freedom is jeopardized BECAUSE of his or her parents' socioeconomic backgrounds.

I looked up a few sources online. The keywords that seemed most helpful to me in my search were socioeconomic, low income students, and privatization. One study by Jean-Claude Croizet and Theresa Claire seemed especially helpful, as well as books by JR Betts and another by DM Gollnick. The title of the article by Croizet and Claire was Extending the Concept of Stereotype Threat to Social Class: The Intellectual Underperformance of Students from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds.

A few of the articles that I skimmed mentioned how the IDEA that those from lower classes are less capable and the stereotypes we still have about minorities in this country affect their chances of success-- just the way others THINK about them. I have taken sociology courses before and, statistically speaking, the lives of people coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds are pretty much planned out for them-- they will fall victim to the same fate as that of their parents. Reading things like this realize that this issue in education goes much deeper and is much more complex to solve than I originally thought (although I had an inkling).
This is the study I mentioned previously. This study talks about how stereotypes negatively affect low socioeconomic students more than we know. This study aimed to prove that low SES students were expected to claim more impediments to their performance before taking the test because of their apprehension for validating a negative stereotype. This did not prove true in the study, and the introductory parts of the study contained a lot of valuable information.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Blog #1: Potential Research Topics!

Mind Over Money? How Socioeconomic Factors Influence a Student's Career

The first topic that I am interested in exploring further is how a parent's demographic (class, age, income, ethnicity) affects his or her child's higher education experience. This is something that seriously interests me, as we've discussed in class how the further privatization of universities is affecting people from different backgrounds in very different ways. It may be difficult to find a large amount of research on this, but it would be a very interesting topic for me to present. 
(To expand on this topic, I would look into how the characteristics of the parents affect the child's social mobility post-college)

The second topic I am interested in researching, is how the privatization of college affects and, if further privatization continues, continue to affect the freedom of low income students. By freedom, I mean the choices that a low income student can make, during and after college. I know this is similar to my first topic, but I would like this one to be focused on how privatization jeopardizes freedom.