In their book Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality, sociologists Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton describe how college magnifies relatively small differences in family background and income, so that students from less affluent families find themselves at a disadvantage in making social connections, gaining membership in Greek life, affording time for academics, and successfully pursuing the most challenging professional pathways (where support from parents is practically essential).
Choose ONE of the following questions and use ideas related to the rise of privatization (Newfiled) or the fall of public support (Carlson) to help explain a specific example from Armstrong and Hamilton's study that illustrates that idea. Try to make an original connection between two of the readings in your comment. Then post a comment on another student's connection.
1. Privatization and Social Engagement or Isolation.
How might privatization compound the problems faced by less affluent students in making lasting social connections at college and why does that matter? Some related questions you might consider: How does social class background impact how well students fit in socially? How does successful social engagement translate to academic success in college and economic success after college? What are the downsides of too much social engagement, and why do some students suffer those downsides more than others?
2. Privatization and Social Reproduction or Mobility.
How exactly do private resources impact who will have the most academic success at college and the most long-term gains in income because of that? Armstrong and Hamilton suggest that social and economic backgrounds seem to foretell who will or will not reproduce the social class of their parents or, even more challenging, achieve social mobility. How exactly do private resources or a lack of public support make the difference here?
Use the comments feature below and make direct reference to the readings in your comment (which must be posted before we meet on Tuesday). Then respond to another student's comment (you may need to come back later and the second comment is due by 24 hours after we meet as a class). You must post and comment to receive the full two points participation credit. Note: if you post anonymously, please sign your post with at least your first name.