Friday, May 02, 2008

Not naming class on campus

Will Barratt, Ph.D.
Department of Educational Leadership
Indiana State University

The April 24 Chronicle of Higher Education had an excellent article about class on campus, except they didn't call it that.

"Elite colleges have made headlines in recent years with financial-aid plans aimed at enrolling more low-income students. But despite those efforts, the proportion of financially needy undergraduates at the nation's wealthiest colleges and universities actually dropped between the 2004-5 and 2006-7 academic years, according to a Chronicle analysis of federal Pell Grant data."

Using my magic social class decoder ring this really says that class has become central to the distribution of financial aid in our elite colleges. This supports my idea that campuses are market segmented into luxury goods (highly selective elite colleges), mass market goods (state colleges, even those that think of themselves as selective and prestige), and discount goods (community colleges).

On January 19 the Chronicle ran an article "When Legacies Are a College's Lifeblood" that examined the recruiting efforts to attract the children of alumni to a campus. While the article did not look closely at the high prestige highly selective universities, it takes no stretch of the imagination to realize the practice of recruiting legacies is widespread. Whether or not President Bush met the admissions requirements for Yale, or was admitted because he was a legacy remains an open question.

This is not a conspiracy, this is just the way things are playing out to the disadvantage of the lower classes. Less financial aid for the poor, and more help for legacies is one way to understand how the college system works.

On the other hand, many colleges do an excellent job in recruiting and providing financial support (economic capital) for first generation students, and it should be noted that the increases in the cost of college go toward financial id and operations rather than faculty salaries.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Social Class and Education: Reproduction, Replication or Resistance, Robert Longwell-Grice, Ed.D.

Social Class and Education: Reproduction, Replication or Resistance

Rob Longwell-Grice, EdD
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
First-generation college students undergo enormous transformations as they negotiate the difficult transition into the culture of academia. First-generation college students confront all the anxieties, dislocations, and difficulties of any other college students and their experiences often involve cultural as well as social and academic transitions (Rendon, 1996; Pascarella, Wolniak, Pierson & Terenzini, 2003). First-generation college students are more likely than their peers to come from low-income and working-class households, they receive less assistance in preparing for college, feel less supported for attending college, and lack a sense of belonging to the college they attend (Choy, 2001), all of which play a role in the recruitment and retention of students from these working-class backgrounds. The transition to college for first-generation college students is particularly challenging as a result of these numerous at-risk factors (Lohfink, & Paulsen, 2005; Longwell-Grice, 2008).
According to the United States Department of Education, 10 years ago 43 percent of students attending post-secondary institutions in the United States are first-generation students (Nunez & Cuccaro-Alamin, 1998), and there is a consensus that these numbers will continue to grow as a college degree becomes necessary for more entry-level jobs (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991; Ntiri, 2001). At the same time, however, the proportion of first-time, full-time first-generation college students attending four-year institutions has steadily declined since 1971 (Higher Education Research Institute, 2007). Because first-generation college students have different characteristics and experiences than the students higher education has traditionally served, they are a group at risk and are clearly in need of greater research and administrative attention if they are to succeed in college (Terenzini, Springer, Yaeger, Pascarella & Nora, 1996).
This micro-chapter presents results of a multiple case study involving four first-generation working-class, white male college freshmen during their first semester at an urban research university in the South, who discuss issues related to their preparation for college, the support they felt while attending college, and the sense of belonging they developed while attending college. These perceptions were analyzed through a social-class lens. The study found that these first-generation working-class students were dealing with the phenomena of status incongruity which created confusion and discontentment for them. The study also found that these students felt the need to develop ‘back up plans’ in case they did not succeed in college, and the students were constantly concerned with keeping out of debt. The study makes recommendations for colleges who are interested in helping working-class students deal with these issues and help ensure their success in college.
Liu (2001), Jackma and Jackma (1983) maintain that because class stratification is multi-dimensional (having aspects of income, education, and occupation) and because there is no one single criterion for determining social class, many researchers have abandoned the concept that it is an issue around which people form their identity. This is especially true, Liu, Jackma and Jackma argue, as race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion become more significant as identity issues. However, social class determines the type of education one receives (Anyon, 1980) and the type of college one attends (McDonough, 1997), and these two factors play a crucial role in defining one’s class.
Vander Putten (2001) argues that educators and multiculturalists have a narrow view of diversity, and define it solely in terms of race and gender. The problem of using these two lenses exclusively, Vander Putten maintains, is that, “Bill Gates and a white male Appalachian coal miner will be seen as equal” (p.15). Further, Vander Putten asserts, this limited view of only using race and gender can be attributed to the widely held myth in the United States that everyone belongs to the middle class.
This study intentionally included students who considered themselves to be members of the working class in order to assess how the nexus of their first generation and social class status affected these students’ collegiate experience. The issue of social class was deeply imbedded in the experiences of these students. Social class was woven into these students’ lives as they lived through issues related to preparation for college, support for college, and belonging to college.
While many campuses have drawn attention to the interplay of ethnicity and gender in shaping the educational experiences of college students, colleges have paid limited attention to the complex issues of social class itself (Faulkner, 1995; Odair, 1993; Van Galen, 2000). While educators continue to stress the importance of a college degree for achieving success and class mobility, for low income and working class students, obtaining a college degree is becoming increasingly difficult and their numbers on college campuses have decreased accordingly (Soliday, 1999). Meanwhile, working class students are uncomfortable questioning a system that they are trying so hard to learn. Liu (2001) maintains that social class is a pervasive and important dimension in one’s life, yet it seems to be one of the least understood constructs in psychology. He argues, “often social class is treated as a singular variable, used to infer a person’s social class ‘thinking’” (p. 127), rather than as just one part of a person’s lived experience. Social class, Liu claims, is linked to almost every part of a person’s life, affecting occupational attainment, job satisfaction and educational achievement, among other areas of ones’ life. Along with first gen status, social class is one of the key components of this study.
In this study, issues of social class were reflected in the estrangement the students felt towards the college they attended. Their social class also hindered their preparation for college, and the support that they felt for enrolling in college. This is reflected in the following passage from Patrick, one of the participants in the study:
A typical college student to me is just what I’ve seen. To me, they all dress alike in those fancy clothes, and they go out and party all the time. And they drive those fancy cars, and listen to rap music really, really loud. And some of them are weird. And I don’t do any of those things. Being well off is one thing about them. I find a lot of them drive nicer cars than I do. And I don’t think that I am the smartest person in the world but I know for a fact that I am a lot more intelligent than some of them. And I see a lot of stupid things going on. Typically, they are spoiled, rich kids to me but a lot of them aren’t so that is a very bad thing for me to say. A lot of them worked their way up here just as much as I did, if not more. So, I am saying that the ones that irk me the most, are the ones I refer to, which are the majority, I believe. Of course I might be wrong.
As this statement indicates, Patrick did not see himself as a “typical” college student. To Patrick, “typical” college students are rich, spoiled, dress alike, party, and behave stupidly. He tried to correct himself when he said that some of them had to work their way into college, but then he went on to clarify that he felt the majority did not. Patrick was a college student now, which was something no previous generation in his family had ever achieved. However, now he was in danger of being seen as one of “them” and he wanted to make it clear that he was not like those “other” students. He did not fit the stereotype that he and his friends and his family had of college students. They were like Bill Gates. He was like the Appalachian coal miner. Van Putten (2001) is correct when he argues that when colleges ignore social class, white students from working class backgrounds become largely invisible on the college campus, which further adds to the feelings of working class students that they do not belong on the campus.
Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Work, 162, 67-92.
Choy, S. (2001). The condition of education, 2001. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics (Publication No. 2001072), [on-line], available:
Faulkner, C. (1995). My beautiful mother. In J. Zandy (Ed.). Liberating memory: Our work and our working class consciousness. New Bruswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press.
Higher Education Research Institute (2007). First in My Family: A profile of first-generation college students at four-year institutions since 1971. Available:
Jackma, M.. R. & Jackma, R. W. (1983). Class awareness in the United States. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Liu, W. M. (2001). Expanding our understanding of multiculturalism: Developing a social class world view model. In D. P. Pope-Davis and H. L. K. Coleman (Eds.), The intersection of race, class and gender in multi-cultural counseling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Lohfink, M. & Paulsen, M. (2005). Comparing the determinants of persistence for first-generation and continuing-generation students. Journal of College Student Development, 46, 409-428.
Longwell-Grice, R. & Longwell-Grice, H. (2008). Testing Tinto: How Do Retention Theories Work For First-Generation, Working-Class Students? Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 9 (4) 2008 (In Press).
McDonough, P. (1997). Choosing colleges: How social class and schools structure opportunity. New York: State University of New York Press.
Ntiri, D. W. (2001). Access to higher education for nontraditional students and minorities in a technology focused society. Urban Education,1, 129-144.
Nunez, A.-M. & Cuccaro-Alamin, S. (1998). First generation students: Undergraduates whose parents have never enrolled in postsecondary education. (NCES 98-082). U. S. Department of Education, NCES. Washington, DC. [on-line], available:
O’dair, S. (1993). Vestments and vested interests: Academia, the working class, and affirmative action. In M. M. Tokarczyk & E. A. Fay (Eds.), Working class women in the academy: Laborers in the knowledge factory. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Pascarrella, E. T. & Terenzini, P. T. (1991). How college affects students: Findings from twenty years of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Pascarella, E. T., Wolniak, G., Pierson, C. & Terenzini, P. T. (2003). Experiences and outcomes of first-generation students in community colleges. Journal of College Student Development,44, 420-429.
Rendon, L. I. (1996). Life on the border. About Campus 1, 14-20.
Soliday, M. (1999). Class dismissed. College English 61, 731-741.
Terenzini, P. T., Springer, L., Yaeger, P. Pascarella,E. T., & Nora, A. (1996). First generation college students: characteristics, experiences, and cognitive development. Research in Higher Education,37, 1-22.
Vander Putten, J. (2001). Bringing social class to the diversity challenge. About campus 6, 14-19.
Van Galen, J. A. (2000). Education and class. Multicultural Education 7, 2-11.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Class key words and secret language

Revealing the hidden or disguised dialog about class requires knowing some of the ways that class is disguised. Terms often heard on campus, like first generation students, access, legacy students, community colleges, selective colleges, need based, and merit based are all class based terms.

First generation students are defined in two ways. First, a restrictive definition are students whose parents did not attend college and represents about half of all 18 year olds. Second, a less restrictive definition are students whose parents did not complete college and represents about 75% of all 18 year olds. This difference is not trivial. Parents who had even one semester in college have experience based advice and counsel for their children. While one semester in college may seem like a small difference, there is a clear income difference between US workers with no experience in college and one semester in college.

Access is used to describe the ability to enroll in and pay for college. Calls for increased access can be found coming from the political left, right, and center. After all, who is not in favor of more US citizens getting more education, having a ‘better life’, making more income, and paying more taxes? Access reflects an attitude that everyone should want to improve their life through education, because uneducated (poor) people have lives less worth living than do educated (rich) people. Colleges are regularly exhorted to expand enrollments and those doing the exhorting ignore the reality that nearly anyone who wants to go to a four year college can get accepted somewhere in their state system, albeit with a heavy burden of remedial courses that don’t count toward graduation.

Legacy student is a keyword meaning the children of college graduates, probably from that university. Legacy students are the opposite of first generation students. Legacy students come from families with education and income, and who know the norms of the campus life. Deconstructing this idea we find that legacy students come to campus knowing the secret handshakes, dress, and behavior codes, and may well come to campus knowing select faculty and administrators.

Community college is often used in the context of a campus for the lower classes, for those not destined for management jobs or one of the traditional professions. Granted that the community college system does provide access and upward mobility, and is a great national triumph, it is important to recognize that only a small percentage of students who enroll at community colleges ever transfer to, much less graduate from, four year colleges. A quick examination of the programs at community colleges reveals their core vocational curriculum. In some ways the community college system maintains social class structure in the US. The community colleges provide valuable commodity skills for students to enable them to become the skilled working class, having low work autonomy and little supervisory authority. In spite of this cynical class based view of the community college it is vital to recognize their important and long lasting contribution to economic, personal, and income growth in the US economy, US workforce, and among US families.

Selective college is the keyword for upper-middle and upper class colleges. As community colleges are for the underclass, selective, and especially highly selective colleges, are for the overclass.

Need based and merit based financial aid are class loaded terms. Need based financial aid refers to family income and is used to provide financial assistance to qualified students who don’t have money. Merit based financial aid is given to students with high grades, high test scores, and high class standing. These students are widely sought by selective colleges, and merit based financial aid is one way to purchase, or rent, these students. Grades, test scores, and class standing are closely tied to matters of social class. Merit based aid is the code word for higher class students and need based aid is a code word for lower class students. Many selective campuses are proud of their “need blind” aid it is prominently advertised. This can be deconstructed as a declaration that lower class students need not apply.

Where you start matters.

If you start to understand class based on your personal experiences, as most of us do, it will limit your understanding of class until you learn more about the class experiences of others. If you come to understand class in a journey to understand ethnicity, then you will have a view of class heavily influenced by ethnicity. While class and ethnicity are closely related, starting at ethnicity and coming to class will result in very different views of class than if you start at class. Which is more important, class or ethnicity? The answer to that depends on the context of the question. Which is more important in predicting if a large number of students go to college, where they will go, and if they will graduate is a different question than asking about the daily oppression experienced by ethnic and class minorities.

Something new

I started this blog a while ago and then added nothing. Well, as I was working on a manuscript for a book on social class on campus, I posted the chapters as they were finished. In part this was to get feedback, and in part to motivate me. I took most of that material down because it seemed to be clutter here. I left some up because it is good stuff.

Now, I think I am ready to blog on social class on campus, regularly contributing material.

Why now? Well, I was emailing with a colleague - Drew Lurker - who has a wonderful visual sense of the world and has been collecting photos that have social class cues, and well, this is a visual medium, so I offered Drew a forum here. In a few days that new material will be up.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where does class fit in the diversity circle?

I just had a wonderful conversation with colleagues who were adamant that I combine ethnicity and class in this work. One of their concerns was the idea that people talk about class as a way to avoid talking about ethnicity. Given the small amount of talk and writing about class this does not seem to be borne out by the abundant literature on ethnicity and the thin literature on class. While class may be easier to talk about than ethnicity for some people, 'easy alternatives' is no excuse not to deal with hard topics. It may also be easier for some people to talk about class because they really don't know much about class beyond the simple model of income as class.

Similarly, my colleagues asserted that talking about class is a way to avoid talking about whiteness. Similarly, the literature does not bear out their argument. The discussion of ethnicity leads to a discussion of class because of the relation between ethnicity and class. The relationship between class and ethnicity is a different perspective than the relationship between ethnicity and class. A discussion of class, as such, can be a discussion of class. Describing men as men, and not in relation to women, is a similar task. The discussion of class is both related to and separate from the discussion of ethnicity and gender and other forms of diversity. What I set out to do here is to approach social class as something separate from , though related to, other forms of identity.

There are wonderful pieces or writing on ethnicity and on whiteness and on gender and on being an ally and on the international perspectives on class and privilege. Few of them dwell at all on the idea of class.

In the dialog on diversity, where does class fit in the circle?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Part 0 - Your experience of social class

Your experience of social class is important for you and relevant in your life, and it is not generalizable to the social class experiences of others, even to those in the same social class. Not only are our experiences different, our definitions of class are different. In some ways social class is like photons. I am not a physicist but I know there are at least four different ways to describe a photon: wave, particle, Feynman’s model, and string theory. While I enjoy photons on a daily basis, I cannot say there is a single clear definition for them.

The primacy of the personal point of view about class became very clear to me when the “privilege meme” hit the Internet. A group of students and I had designed several staff development experiences to increase participants’ awareness of social class on campus. It is important to note that the group members represented a wide range of social class of origin. One of the experiences was a list of privileges associated with higher social class and the items on the list were drawn from published research literature. This experience was designed to be used on campus at US universities with students. N. Jeanne Burns at transformed this experience, with our permission, into an Internet experience where participants were invited to copy the list and highlight the privileges that they had. Quite quickly this became called the “privilege meme” and “What privilege to do you have” and was copied and commented on widely.

Most of the postings were on individual blogs, and the commentary became interesting. While most of the comments were positive, some were quite negative. The negative comments typically centered on specific privilege items noting that those items were not valid markers of class in the writer’s experience. This is akin to assuming that you know something about public K-12 education because you went to public school. This is also akin to asserting that an entire test is invalid because you don’t think one question is fair. The personal perspective on class is important, but it is not representative of any larger population. One clear response to the privilege meme in other English speaking nations was that the items reflected a US model of class for contemporary students. This was quite true. Just as class is an individual experience, that experience is embedded in a culture and a time.

Our goal in developing these experiences was to have participants increase their awareness of social class on campus and we had hoped that the discussion after the experience would help participants to learn a wider view of social class and learn from other students’ experiences.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kathleen Mullins - The Experiences of First Generation, Working Class Graduate Students

The Experiences of First Generation, Working Class Graduate Students

Kathleen Mullins

Front Range Community College

March, 2008

The literature abounds with statistics and stories about the challenges college students face when they are the first person in their family to access higher education. Researchers have called attention to the multiple identities inherent in first generation status and to the significant cultural transitions and resulting marginality that first generation undergraduate students often experience (London, 1992; Orbe, 2004; Terenzini et al., 1994). Student affairs professionals have responded by creating high school-to-college bridge programs, academic interventions, and mentoring projects designed to support first generation undergraduate students and to ameliorate their disadvantages. In spite of these efforts, and even when controlling for other persistence and attainment factors, first generation undergraduate students are more likely than legacy students, those whose parents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, to leave college without a degree; 45 percent of first generation undergraduate students drop out compared to 29 percent of legacy students (U. S. Department of Education, 2001). Even though a significant number of first generation undergraduate students do persevere and obtain postsecondary degrees, they are again underrepresented at the graduate level (only 25% of first generation students will begin a graduate program) where fewer resources exist to help them with the continuing challenge of navigating cultural transitions and addressing issues of marginalization based on socioeconomic class.

In spite of the abundance of information on the experiences of first generation college students during their undergraduate years, very little research has been done on the experiences of these students when they enroll in graduate programs. However, a wealth of first-person narratives provides a look into the personal and professional lives of academics, both graduate students and professors, who are first generation college students. Much of this work focuses on issues of socioeconomic status, particularly working class status, (Dews & Law, 1995; Linkon, 1999; Rose, 1989; Ryan & Sackrey, 1984) and incorporates the voices of people of a wide variety of races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, political beliefs, and religious practices. Present in many of these narratives are stories of cultural transitions and marginality that increase in complexity as the student’s level of academic study becomes further removed from his or her family’s educational experiences. By supplementing the research about first generation undergraduates with these poignant narratives of working class, first generation graduate students and academics, the importance of providing ongoing student affairs support for these students becomes clear.

In 2005, I conducted an applied research project as a requirement for my graduate program in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at Western Washington University (WWU). My qualitative study examined the experiences of nine students in Master’s programs at WWU who were the first person in their families to go to college. (The student narrators were between the ages of 24 and 42; five were men, four were women; seven identified as White or Caucasian, one as American Indian, and one as biracial.) My interest in this topic was grounded in my own experience as a first generation college students and my first graduate school experience in the mid-1990s when I was completing a Masters degree in English Studies. At the time, I had no name for the phenomenon, but I was consciously struggling to cross an ever-increasing cultural chasm between myself and my family and friends, and I sometimes felt out-of-place in the rarified academic environment where my fellow students seemed so comfortable. I found many of my personal experiences validated and reflected in the research and first-person narratives about first generation college students.

After reviewing the literature and conducting one-on-one, in depth interviews with my student narrators, I came to believe that the issues of cultural transitions and marginality do not disappear when students finish their undergraduate programs. It seemed logical to me that the dissonance and challenge may, in fact, increase with each progressive foray into higher education. I do, however, agree with Orbe (2004) that some first generation students have enough familial “cultural capital” (Bourdieu, 1977) to lessen the impact of transitions and marginalization. For example, first generation students who have the cultural capital of being white, male, traditionally aged, and/or middle- and upper-class may have more advantages than other first generation students.

As student affairs professionals, we know that first generation college students are underrepresented in graduate programs. We also know from our experiences with first generation undergraduates that college requires students to navigate cultural transitions and address marginalization. If student affairs professionals want to encourage the persistence and nurture the resilience of first generation graduate students, particularly first generation, working class graduate students, we will need to listen and respond effectively to their stories. Borrego (2003) reminds student affairs professionals that we have the ability and responsibility to “help students tap their unique class position as a source of power” (p. 7). This power is not only a source of strength for students in their individual educational pursuits, but it is also an important contribution to the academic learning community.

Resiliency Factors

Student affairs professionals who are interested in supporting the success of first generation undergraduate students can learn a great deal from students in Masters degree programs who are the first person in their family to graduate from college. These students are higher education success stories in many ways. They have defied the statistical odds not only to persevere to earn a bachelor’s degree, but also to join the ranks of the academic elite: scholars in pursuit of graduate degrees. The students I spoke with shared several factors that contributed to their educational resiliency: attending schools that offered Advanced Placement (AP) classes, challenging curriculums, an affluent parent population, and teachers who expected all students to go to college. One narrator in my study attributed his decision to go to college to a family relocation. He said,

“We moved into a rich area… we were a lower, maybe lower middle-class, blue collar family, and we’re surrounded by white collar upper-class people, and I think I really was influenced, maybe not right away, but by junior high definitely I would have said college was in the picture and then in high school it is was sort of assumed. You have to go. If you want to make something of your life, you have to go to college.”

In addition to the resiliency factors that came from quality K-12 education, the majority of the first generation graduate students I interviewed benefitted from a tremendous amount of emotional support from at least one parent. However, this support is general, not specific. These are not the highly pressured offspring of the middle- and upper-middle class. For the most part, parents of these students are proud of their accomplishments and pleased with their abilities, but they do not push their children to succeed academically. The support these students described is more akin to encouragement than coaching. Parents of first generation students who successfully navigate the narrowing pathway to the highest levels of higher education are fans in the bleachers rather than coaches signaling from third base. While the narrators often desired what parent-coaches have to offer, they were grateful for the encouragement and emotional support their parents provided. As one student said,

“They left it all on me. Everything was on me. I was in charge of my own destiny, and they pretty much said, ‘Do what you can do…and we’ll support you as we can’.” Another narrator put it this way: “I didn’t know how to play the game. My parents didn’t know how to play the game. So it wasn’t that they weren’t supportive, but they just had no real practical support to offer.”

Having a strong work ethic was a third resiliency factor that my research participants shared. One student said,

“I don’t know if that has to do with class… but I think it’s just a result of your upbringing. That’s kind of how I was trained. I transferred how my father works into how I work in class…”

Other resiliency factors included: aptitude for academic work/love of learning, desire to serve others, ability to balance passion and practicality (over and over, I heard, “You have to have a plan!”), interest in upward mobility, and financial resources above and beyond their family’s regular income. Additionally, many students started at community colleges, and one was able to participate in the federal McNair Scholars program as an undergraduate.

What I find noteworthy about these first generation, working class graduate students is their willingness to “go it alone.” Strong familial support and academic preparedness is central to many of their stories, but what their narratives ultimately reveal is an intense desire to persevere in their studies in spite of a lack of understanding from their loved ones and the potential loneliness that can come from being the “first in line.” Being the first person to do something implies privilege and opportunity. Being first often is related to being exceptional. Standing at the front of the line involves the responsibility of being an example and role model. It also evokes the excitement—and anxiety—of being first.

A-Ha Moment

As I have shared this research with others, I hear a constant refrain of “This is my story!” accompanied by gratitude, hugs, tears, or a plea to share our story with others. When I asked my narrators what they would take away from our conversation, many of them indicated that this was the first time they had ever consciously examined the issues of first generation status and social class. One narrator said,

“I think just talking about it makes me realize just how much this has influenced my life. Whereas before, it was just sort of ‘this is who I am.’ I didn’t think that there was anything special about it. …And to think that there are other people out there like me, going through what I’m going through, is a whole new perspective.”

A future counselor compared it to presenting a client with a diagnosis. She said,

“I think you just making the comment that there are people out that have shared this experience is really different. And, I mean, working in mental health, it’s incredible when you give… when you present a diagnosis to somebody and they go, ‘Oh, my gosh. That’s why I’ve been this way? My life makes so much more sense now.’ That’s kind of how it feels. This really has had an influence on my life.” In the course of an hour and a half conversation, these students came away saying “…it’s not just me.”

One student said,

“Wow. It is surprising. I guess I’ve always felt like that was just my life. That’s just how it is. I never really thought that there were other people that were going through that ever. That’s really interesting.”

Cultural Transitions

Like most graduate students, the narrators for my study shared a passion for learning and a great enthusiasm for their subjects. They enjoyed discussing big ideas and theoretical concepts. Ironically, what they loved resulted in an often unwanted distance from the family members who have encouraged them to attend college. The biggest cultural transition facing many of the narrators in this study was bringing their graduate student identity home. For some, bringing their graduate student identity home simply didn’t happen. However, several of the narrators—who made it clear that they valued the support and respected the intelligence of their family members—expressed disappointment about no longer being able to talk with their parents or other family members about issues or ideas that are important to them.

Not being able to talk with family members about their academic studies or intellectual ideas was both a disappointment and a relief for students. Some viewed being with family members as a “vacation” from academia; others experienced it as a loss to, as one student described, “eclipse” their family members. Another narrator explained it this way:

“…you go to school, you love learning, you go home, and there’s only…certain people that you can talk to about your learning… My mom would listen and she would be like, ‘Oh, that’s great,’ but she wouldn’t really care to the same degree that you [interviewer] care. …Yeah. We [narrator & a hypothetical classmate] both care so much about teaching or your content area that you’re going to talk about WWII and you’re both excited about it. And you can talk about all the different concepts… You wouldn’t even think to mention that to certain people in your family.”


It is probably safe to say that graduate students, in general, are fairly comfortable with their academic abilities after having highly successful academic experiences as undergraduates. The narrators in this study did not express anxiety about competency or competitiveness; they seemed secure in their academic performance. Yet several narrators described a discomfort with academic discourse and the culture of academia that they struggled to overcome, and other narrators shared stories of marginalization based on socioeconomic class. One future teacher said,

“For me to be articulate, and for me to sound like I know what I’m talking about, I have to think about things a lot. Get in that mind set.” Later, he went on to say, “Sometimes I think I am quiet because, maybe especially during some conversations, I feel like kind of an alien in academia.”

This sense that academia is an “alien” culture is not unique to this student. Chaffee (1992), Rendón (1992), and Rose (1989) have also used this same descriptor to explain what higher education feels like to students from lower socioeconomic classes. Some students, while keenly aware of these differences, enjoy their marginal status and choose to keep academia at arms length. For example, a student studying history said,

“A part of me doesn’t want to become like one of those intellectuals that sits around in a black shirt and condescends to everybody and sees negativity in everything because it’s all worthless, be pervaded by cynicism because you know so much…I’d like to be able to learn about it and be in control rather than becoming part of the intellectual system, I suppose. Does that make any sense?... I want to get inside, but I don’t want to be consumed by them.”

Still, in spite of the occasional rebellious attitude, most students still experienced the marginalization that results from the invisibility of class on college campuses. A male student described a classroom interaction with a professor by saying,

“This little voice in the back of my head said, ‘You just described the vast majority of my entire family, and you just described them as beer-swilling, Republican-voting hicks.’ I didn’t say anything. I just kind of sat there. I mean, what was I going to say to that? And… that, I mean, that bothered me. I mean, it still does.”

It is because of incidents like this that some students may feel uncomfortable continuing on to the doctoral programs that lead to work inside academia. (This was not as true for the students who were pursuing professional, terminal degrees in teaching or counseling.) The student who described the classroom experience above went on to pose this question:

“It’s like, is this [Masters program] the final weed out? Obviously on some levels it is, but why… it just struck me, why don’t a number of us go the extra step? … It’s not that we aren’t capable. It’s just there’s something there that we don’t want to go farther…. It’s something that I’m starting to wrestle with, too. ‘Why don’t you want to do this? Are you afraid of doing this? Or you just don’t want to be like those people’?”

It is interesting to note that this marginalization was, according to the narrators, unique to their graduate school experience. Graduate school is designed to provide students with a taste of scholarly life and an introduction to the academic community. Faculty who see clear distinctions between themselves and undergraduates may have less rigid boundaries with graduate students. Indeed, they may perceive graduate students, even those in Masters programs, as future colleagues. Some may expect that all graduate students are—or should be—comfortable with academic discourse, academic culture, and the habits of a particular socioeconomic class. Often, however, these expectations do not match the experiences of first generation students. This clearly has implications for diversifying our faculty ranks and the academy as a whole.


Since this was a pilot study conducted by a graduate student, serious limitations exist that influence the impact of my findings. Chief among them are the small sample size, the geographic and institutional specificity, and the relative lack of diversity (particularly students in different degree programs and students with multiple racial, cultural, and socioeconomic identities).


While the student affairs profession ostensibly focuses on the growth and development of all students, it is often the undergraduate experience that garners most of its attention. Colleges and universities that want to encourage the persistence of first generation, working class students in graduate programs will need to do more than usher undergraduates in the front door. Student affairs professionals will need to understand the experiences of these students, provide appropriate and effective services, and work with faculty to help them provide support at the departmental and graduate school levels. These interventions need to focus on enhancing the strengths of first generation, working class graduate students and acknowledging and celebrating the cultural and socioeconomic class richness that they bring to the university.


Borrego, S. (2003). Class matters: Beyond access to inclusion. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Bourdieu, P. (1977). Cultural reproduction and social reproduction. In J. Karabel & G. H. Halsey (Eds.), Power and ideology in education (pp. 487-511). New York: Oxford Press.

Chaffee, J. (1992). Transforming educational dreams into educational reality. In L. S. Zwerling & H. B. London (Eds.), First-generation students: Confronting the cultural issues, New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 80 (pp. 81-88). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Dews, C. L. B., & Law, C. L. (Eds.). (1995). This fine place so far from home: Voices of academics from the working class. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Linkon, S. L. (Ed.). (1999). Teaching working class. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

London, H. B. (1992). Transformations: Cultural challenges faced by first-generation students. In L. S. Zwerling & H. B. London (Eds.), First-generation students: Confronting the cultural issues, New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 80 (pp. 5-11). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Orbe, M. P. (2004). Negotiating multiple identities within multiple frames: An analysis of first-generation college students. Communication Education, 53(2), 131-149.

Rendón, L. I. (1992). From the barrio to the academy: Revelations of a Mexican American “scholarship girl.” In L. S. Zwerling & H. B. London (Eds.), First-generation students: Confronting the cultural issues, New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 80 (pp. 55-64). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Rendón, L. (1996, November-December). Life on the border. About Campus, 14-20.

Rose, M. (1989). Lives on the boundary: A moving account of the struggles and achievements of America’s educational underclass. New York: Penguin Books.

Ryan, J., & Sackrey, C. (Eds.). (1984). Strangers in paradise: Academics from the working class. Boston: South End Press.

Terenzini, P. T., Rendón, L. I., Upcraft, M. L., Millar, S. B., Allison, K. W., Gregg, P. L, et al. (1994). The transition to college: Diverse students, diverse stories. Research in Higher Education, 35(1), 57-73.

U. S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). Students whose parents did not go to college: Postsecondary access, persistence, and attainment (NCES 2001-126, by Susan Choy). Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Part 2 - Class Myths

Class myths

People are regularly challenged on their personal points of view about gender and ethnicity and challenges about class are quite rare. Peggy McIntosh’s (1988) White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack list is a classic personal point of view challenge for ethnicity and gender. The recent movie Crash (Haggis, 2004) is typically seen as a movie about ethnicity and when seen through a class lens takes on an entirely new dimension. Personal challenges about class happen rarely, and can be quite powerful.

Barratt, Lurker, Cahill, Carlen, Huck, Lurker and Ploskonka (2006) developed an experience called Take a step forward designed to increase college students’ awareness of privilege as a way to stimulate discussion about class. The experience was a list of 36 statements indicative of privilege within the US majority culture and based on published research. N. Jeanne Burns (2007) posted a web based version of this experience on her blog with the authors’ permission. Burns’ blog posting asked people to highlight the statements that were true of them. Within two months this experience was being called the privilege meme as people sent it to their friends and the number of people posting it in the blogsphere expanded dramatically. The original authors were prompted to create an updated version (Barratt W. , Cahill, Carlen, Huck, Lurker, & Plosknoka, 2008).

Reactions to this experience on blogs ranged from dismissive (Scalzi, 2008) (McArdle, 2008) to reflective (Van Galen, 2008). Some bloggers hated the meme and the idea of privilege, like Scalzi, and most people who participated in the privilege meme experience and subsequent discussion found it useful. After reading numerous blogs and comments the theme appeared that this experience was the first time many people had confronted their own points of view on privilege and class.

Cheryl Cline (N.D.) lists 25 things you hear when you try to talk about class on her web site. Seven of these statements are included here because they reflect some common myths about class, common attitudes toward class, and personal points of view that can be seen as individual or political.

Class doesn’t exist in the USA.

This myth is the classic denial of class. No matter what model anyone uses for class there are dramatic differences between US Americans in income, education, occupational prestige, cultural capital, social capital, speech, dress, accessories, beverage preference, and even comedy preferences. Constant effort and a sheltered life are required not to see class in the US. Denying class allows individuals avoid dealing with class, class based issues, and their role in a classed society.

Ignorance of class can come from a lack of exposure to differences. People in sheltered lives who only go to school, go to work, shop, and play with people like them may find it easy to deny class. Their encounter with class may be minimal if they only read magazines and see media that reflect people like them. Cross (1995) is clear in expressing that encounter is the first stage on the road to awareness and change.

Ignorance of class can come from continued exposure to the denial of class, much like the racist and sexist statements that perpetuate racism and sexism. Challenging this myth and making class a foreground issue (Van Galen, 2000) is an important part of social justice work and celebrating diversity.

We are all middle class anyway.

This point of view recognizes the existence of class while simultaneously denying differences. Even the media perpetuates this myth by referring to the growing middle class. Zweig (2000) and Van Galen (2000) define working class in terms of work autonomy, making the point that the vast majority of the working public have very little work autonomy, which makes them working class. On the other end, the upper 20% in income are typically labeled as upper-middle class. By naming the upper class, the upper 20% in family income, as the upper middle class the upper class conveniently disappears, becoming some variety of middle class, but somehow slightly better.

By embracing the notion that everyone is the same we get to deny important differences. “Why can’t we all get along?” and “Doesn’t all this talk about diversity lead to divisiveness?” are both corollaries to this myth. This class unifying point of view minimizes the very real differences in US Americans and creates a fictional giant middle class that can become a political, social, or religious force because of the manufactured homogeneity of the group.

The working class is disappearing.

This recognizes class, and recognizes the differences between classes, but hopes for the world where we are all becoming one class, at least in the US. This myth reflects an out of date world view when work and physical labor were the same. Traditional working class jobs have disappeared in the US as manufacturing labor has moved to where the wages are low. The reality is that laboring class in the US is disappearing as a function of the global labor economy. The actual work of the working class has moved from labor to service jobs. These jobs have traditional working class characteristics such as low wages, minimal work autonomy, and little or no supervision over others. Members of the modern working class now dress in more prestigious clothing that reflects a different kind of work.

This disappearing working class belief reflects the idea that President Johnson’s War on Poverty was victorious, asserting that welfare, education, and other social programs were successful and we are consequently all middle class leaving poverty behind as a problem. Suggesting that the 20% of US American families who make under $20,035 are no longer working class is patently absurd.

Once you get a degree you are no longer working class.

There is a wonderful image of a Madame Alexander doll in a graduation cap and gown. She is still a Madame Alexander. This myth of class recognizes the existence and even the ubiquitous nature of class while believing that class mobility is as simple as graduation. Her change in clothing, and the implied change in her status, does not change her identity.
This myth casts class as something external to the individual and does not recognize the very real changes that class shift engenders in personal identity and relationships. Classic views of class taught in school rooms come from a sociological perspective which uses class to classify groups of people. The idea of someone having an internal and individual social class that is part of their identity and culture gets ignored when class is seen as a group classification or class is seen as something changeable on getting a diploma. When class is seen as a group classification then the group and not the individual becomes the focus.

Education is the key to upward mobility.

The best propaganda campaign is misinformation, which is providing information that appears to be true and is something that people want to believe. Education is certainly the key to upward mobility, sort of. This is a pernicious myth because it is partly true. The recent U.S. Department of Education Report A test of leadership: Changing the future of U.S. higher education (U.S. Department of Education, 2006) that was orchestrated by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Charles Miller (Zemsky, 2007) repeats the idea that education is the key to upward mobility. One of the cornerstones of the report is the idea of access to post-secondary education, rising college costs, and shrinking financial aid are seen as one impediment to increased access. The report ignores the fact that even with rising college costs enrollments continue to rise. However this may only reflect US American’s willingness to assume debt to attend college.

Legions of individuals can be counted on to provide evidence for this myth. Education is the key to upward mobility for many. It’s just not that simple however. The lower prestige occupations like teaching and nursing are filled with people who were first generation students, whose parents did not have a college degree or even go to college. While first generation students become physicians, attorneys, and college professors the reality is that education helps people up the ladder of occupational prestige one rung at a time.

Education is not working for many people. It is not their key to upward mobility. These people didn’t go to college, they weren’t a success, and they didn’t a get newspaper feature on overcoming hardship. US American’s have a high school graduation rate between 75% and 85% depending on which study you read. The reality is that public high schools are failing to educate students to the level of graduation. As you might imagine the students who do not graduate are typically among the poor, so it would appear on the face that public schools are in the business of preventing the upward mobility of poor students. There is a strong relationship between school level poverty and graduation rates.

Viewing education as a commodity creates a more disturbing reality. Like any product education can be divided into luxury goods, mass market goods, and discount goods. Selective high prestige colleges are the college luxury goods. The competition for admission to these colleges is fierce among the upper 20% of US Americans who are accustomed to purchasing the luxury goods they can afford. Parents get upset when their average child cannot meet the high academic criteria for admission to highly selective colleges, even though the parent can afford the high cost of tuition. Mass market colleges are where most students go and where the cost is moderate. While the preponderance of mass market colleges are public institutions there are many private schools in this category. A cursory examination of college web sites and printed material will reveal which market segment the admissions material targets. Discount goods provide great value for price but are low prestige. In the US today our community college system seems to be marketing itself on the basis of cost for value.

College is open to anyone who wants to work hard.

Access to college and the transition from high school to college are significant social issue but are rarely tied to issues of class. While 50% of US adults over 25 have no college experience and only 25% of the college population has parents with no college experience. Children of college graduates are far more likely to do well in schools, go to college, and graduate (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2005) than children from families with no parental college experience.

Assuming that intelligence is distributed randomly in a population leads to an interesting question. If the children from wealthy families are no more intelligent than the children from poor families why is it that children from poor families do worse in school, in general, than children from wealthy families? We can attribute their lack of success to individual effort – that the children from poor families don’t work as hard, have bad parents, and have home environments that don’t support learning – or should we be asking about the interaction between the children from poor families and teachers.

Myth and reality

The truth of class is much more complex than the myths about class. It is easier to blame poor people for their lot in life, lack of education, money, resources, and manners than it is to understand the underlying systems of class that perpetuate this situation. Children in schools rise to the level of their parents’ education, which means that the playing field is not level, that some children have a head start and get help along the way and others get barriers put up to their academic and financial success.


Barratt, W., Cahill, M., Carlen, A., Huck, M., Lurker, D., & Plosknoka, S. (2008). Step into social class 2.0. Retrieved Feburary 19, 2008, from
Barratt, W., Cahill, M., Carlen, A., Huck, M., Lurker, D., & Ploskonka, S. (2006). Take a step forward. Terre Haute, IN: Authors.
Burns, N. J. (2007, November 2). What privilege do you have. Retrieved February 19, 2008, from Social class & Quakers:
Cline, C. (N.D.). Payday. Retrieved February 18, 2008, from 25 things you will hear if you try to talk about class:
Cross, W. E. (1995). The psychology of nigrescence: Revising the Cross model. In J. G. Ponterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander, Handbook of multicultural counseling (pp. 93-122). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Haggis, P. (Director). (2004). Crash [Motion Picture].
McArdle, M. (2008, January 7). Retrieved February 19, 2008, from Megan McArdle Asymmetrical Information:
McIntosh, P. (1988). White privilege and male privilege: A personal account of coming to see correspondences through work in women's studies. Wellesley, MA: Author.
National Center for Educational Statistics. (2005). First-generation students in postsecondary education: A look at their college transcripts. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
Scalzi, J. (2008, January 3). Point of privilege. Retrieved February 19, 2008 , from Whatever:
U.S. Department of Education. (2006). A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.D. Higher Educaiton. Washington, DC: U.D. Department of Education.
Van Galen, J. (2008, February 13). Class, Race, and Privilege. Retrieved February 19, 2008, from Education and Class:
Van Galen, J. (2000). Education & Class. Multicultural Education , 7 (3), 2-11.
Zemsky, R. (2007, January 26). The rise and fall of the Spellings Commission. The Chronicle Review , p. B6.
Zweig, M. (2000). The working class majority: America's best kept secret. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Part 1 - Introduction to social class

Will Barratt, Ph.D.
Department of Educational Leadership
Indiana State University

I am putting together a manuscript for eventual publication and thought that I would begin by posting it to my very quiet blog. As the "privilege meme" took off and the conversation turned out to be quite interesting, after the initial hate mail, I have a new understanding that the blogsphere is a new marketplace of ideas.
Introduction to Social Class

Talking about social class makes people nervous. Milton Bennett’s (1998) model is a useful tool to deconstruct conversations about class. Many people are in the denial stage about class “We really don’t have class in the US”, they are unaware of the important cultural and personal differences that class apprehends. Others are in the defense stage about class and have a negative attitude about the classes above them or below them “They’re poor because they don’t work hard, and those rich snobs think they’re better than the rest of us.” Still others repeat the myth “Well, we’re all really middle class anyway” minimizing and belittling real class differences. Personal reactions to differences depend on many things, and Bennett’s Intercultural Sensitivity model is one among many useful tools for self examination when class comes up in conversation.

Many people learned in school that class is about money, which is the same as saying that ethnicity is about skin color. Money is part of class and skin color is part of ethnicity. The sticky idea here, the sound bite, is that social class is more than rich and poor. Most models of class are useful in certain ways and inadequate in other ways. The trick is to figure out which tool works best for what you need to do.

How we see class is important. If we see class as about money then we will identify money problems within class and pursue money related solutions to these problems. If we see class as external to the individual, then our understanding of class, the problems we see, and the solutions we promote will reflect this idea that class is external to the individual. If we see class as internal to the individual, then the problems we see, and the solutions we promote will reflect this view of class. If we see class from multiple perspectives, from a more complicated view, the our understanding of the problems of class will be richer, the problems we see will be more complete, and the solutions we promote will be more broad based. Class is more than rich and poor.

The reality of class

Class as income. The reality of class depends on how we describe class. The simplest answer is that class is about money, and money is income. There are huge disparities in US American’s income. While income certainly is a one way to score wealth, is a trucker who makes $80,000 truly upper middle class? Income tables from the US Census Bureau in 2006 (2006) indicate that in 2006 dollars
5% of US American Families make more than $174,102
20% of US American Families make more than $97,032
40% of US American Families make more than $60,000
60% of US American Families make more than $37,774
80% of US American Families make more than $20,035

Class as wealth. Wealth is accumulated economic assets and income is potential wealth. In the contemporary US only a small percent of the population has any wealth at all. Most people owe more money than they have. Mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, school loans are all balanced against savings and retirement dollars. Class as wealth is useful when making distinction among the wealthy, but most people have no wealth.

Class as capital. While Marx (Marx, 1885) used economic capital as one analytic tool to examine class others like Bourdieu (1986) in Forms of Capital suggested that class should also include social capital and cultural capital. Other forms of capital, such as academic capital, have been used to examine the role of class on campus. Social capital is one criteria used by the World Bank in examining loans.

Class as education. August Hollingshead (Hollingshead, 1957) developed the Two factor model of social position and later the Four factor model of social status to help his research. These measures looked at educational attainment and occupational prestige and both are related to income. According to the US Census Bureau (2006) in 2006 of adults over 25
1% have a Doctoral Degree
1 % have Professional Degree
6% have completed a Master’s Degree
28% have completed a Bachelor’s Degree
86% have attained a High School diploma

It must also be noted that 50% of the students at community colleges are “first generation students” whose parents have no experience on any campus, just like the national average. However, only 27% of students at four year colleges are first generation students (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1998).

Class as prestige. Prestige is an obvious marker of what is better in US American culture. Higher prestige colleges are considered better colleges. Higher prestige English dialects and varieties are considered better English. Higher prestige clothing, purses, and accessories are considered better. Higher prestige beer is considered better. When higher prestige is put to the test it is not often better. While most people think of class as money, most people behave as if class is prestige.

Class as occupation. Hollingshead’s social status measure (1957) (1975) examined occupational prestige as one marker of class. In US America occupation is very important as a status marker. The most recent examination of occupational prestige comes from Davis, Smith, Hodge, Nakao, and Treas (1991) and provides an overview of what the US American people believe about occupation and prestige.
Class as culture. Social class is a collection of subcultures arranged in a hierarchy of prestige. (Barratt, 2005). Class can be seen as cultures that have shared values, rituals, beliefs, and even language. When class is seen as culture then all of the tools of ethnicity come into play. The only problem is that ethnicities are often seen as equal, which neglects the inherent inequality of class.

Class as identity. Contemporary US America has been called an identity society. We all develop a gender, ethnic, and class identity at an early age as we go through a process of identification and differentiation. Gender and ethnic identity does not change for most people, and in a society without class movement class identity does not change. However we know that class movement is a fact of life for many, both rising in class and falling in class. This dynamic gives rise to the idea that we all have a social class of origin, a current felt social class, and an attributed social class; where we came from, what we think of ourselves, and what others think of us. As a first generation student moves up in social class a mismatch between their class identities arises. It should not go without notice that this can engender internal conflict.

Class as a system. The fundamental interconnectedness, the multicausality and the equifinality of the elements of class make systems theory an effective tool for working with class. When seen through the lens of class and systems institutions like banks and schools take on a different image. One consequence of the work of these institutions is the recreation and reproduction of class (Bourdieu, 1986). When education is seen as a commodity then it is possible to see luxury goods, mass market items, and discount items that reflect social classes, prestige, and admissions requirements.

Social Class on Campus

Using Strange and Banning’s (Strange & Banning, 2001) model each campus has a social class environment that has coevolved with the campus human aggregate, physical campus, organizational environment, and the constructed campus. Average SAT scores, admissions selectivity, students’ dress, cars, language, and even disposable income are all markers for the campus social class human aggregate. Similarly, the campus physical plant reflects the campus social class environment, with high prestige campuses having more prestigious architectural and physical features. Campus organization reflects stakeholder needs and higher social class students will have different needs than lower social class students. Consequently the campus organization will be different. The constructed social class environment, seen in the light of social class as a social construct, reinforces the collective beliefs of the campus members.

College is a middle classing experience for first generation and lower social class students. The college experience is an opportunity where students can learn the attitudes, values, and behaviors like the speech and dress patterns typical of a higher social class. Disparity between student social class of origin and campus social class environment is no doubt a source of student campus mismatch (Terenzini, Springer, Yaeger, Pascarella, & Nora, 1996) (Pascarella, Wolniak, Pierson, & Terenzini, 2003) (Pascarella, Pierson, Wolniak, & Terenzini, 2004).

The model, or metaphor, that we use for class determines what we do. How we think about class determines how we act about class. If class is seen as a sociological or group phenomenon then our work with class will be with groups and not with individuals. If class is seen as economic, then our work with class will be economic. If class is seen as cultural then our work with class will be about culture. Having multiple models, being multiparadigmatic, will enable multiple interventions.

Barratt, W. (2005). Socio Economic Status: The inequitable campus. American College Personnel Association Annual Meeting. Nashville, TN.
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Davis, J., Smith, T., Hodge, R., Nakao, K., & Treas, J. (1991). Occupational presitge ratings from the 1989 general social survey. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
Hollingshead, A. B. (1975). Four factor index of social status. New Haven, CT: Unpublished manuscript. Department of Sociology, Yale University.
Hollingshead, A. B. (1957). Two factor index of social position. New Haven, CT: Unpublished manuscript. Department of Sociology, Yale University.
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Pascarella, E. T., Wolniak, G., Pierson, C., & Terenzini, P. (2003). Experiences and outcomes of first-generation students in community colleges. Journal of College Student Development, 44, 420-429.
Strange, C., & Banning, J. (2001). Educating by design . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
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More to come