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Aspired and Expected Social Class Positions and Related Barriers: Perceptions of Selected Mexican American Students, Their Parents and Teachers

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
Monica Elizabeth Gutierrez
Научный руководитель: Walter F. Stenning
Организация: Texas A&M University
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

The purpose of this study was to determine social class positions as derived from career and educational aspirations and expectations and to identify barriers affecting career and educational achievement. The research study was focused on students from a small geographically isolated community. These students were bused 20 miles to a high school outside their county and have historically had a high dropout rate. Individual interviews were conducted with 32 students and former students and their parents, as well as eight teachers from the high school. The student pool was evenly divided between 16 school completers and 16 non-completers. Then, each of the two student groups were divided into 8 male and 8 female participants. The research study formulated an overall compelling conclusion. This study found that there is a definite distinction between career and educational aspirations and expectations between school completers and non-completers. School completers had higher aspirations and expectations for themselves. The parents of school completers also aspired and expected a higher degree of occupational and educational attainment for their children. Social class rank positions were calculated using the Hollingshead Two-Factor Index of Social Position. This instrument uses knowledge of a person's occupation and educational level to derive a social class rank. Class ranks were calculated from I to V, with I being the highest. School completers and their parents aspired and expected to achieve social class rank positions of a class II or a class III ranking. Meanwhile, non-completers and their parents had a much bleaker outlook for the future. They aspired for and expected to end up in a social class rank position of IV or V. By aspiring and expecting the former students to end up in the two lowest social class positions, they demonstrate little to no hope concerning the future career and educational goals for their children. This leads one to conclude that it is imperative that students, parents, school personnel and the community do whatever it takes to assist students with completing school whether it be by a high school diploma or obtaining a GED.

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