ERIC Number: ED252270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Schooling in the Ghetto: An Ecological Perspective on Community and Home Influences.
Ogbu, John U.
Social scientists have adopted two different views on the influence of the community and home on academic achievement of lower-class and minority students. The first is the deficit perspective, or the failure-of-socialization hypothesis. The second is the difference perspective, or the cultural-discontinuity/failure-of-communication hypothesis. Both deficit and difference perspectives on oppressed minorities reflect external definitions of community and home influences on ghetto children's school learning. In contrast, an ecological perspective enables the specification of important community and home influences affecting the ability of young members of caste-like minority groups to benefit from schooling. Various responses black people have made to the job ceiling and inferior education historically imposed on them affect their children's ability to learn in school. Because blacks continually fight against the schools, they have grown suspicious of the schools; their resulting alienation makes commitment to and perseverance at academic tasks difficult. Black people's disillusionment over the job ceiling imposes similar liabilities. Various survival strategies blacks have developed to cope with their economic and social problems often demand attitudes, competencies, and behaviors that are apparently incompatible with those required for school success. For example, collective struggle teaches blacks that they are not responsible as individuals for their failures, including school failure, and that failure is the fault of "the system"; clientship teaches them that reward does not depend so much on personal efforts at an assigned task as on one's ability to manipulate the powers that be; and hustling emphasizes the virtues of exploiting and manipulating others to achieve desired material success and/or prestige. A 14-page bibliography concludes the document. (RH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adjustment (to Environment), Blacks, Caste, Community Influence, Cultural Traits, Ecology, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Influence, Ghettos, Interpersonal Relationship, Minority Groups, Models, Psychological Characteristics, Racial Discrimination, Racial Factors, Research Problems, Social Class, Social Differences, Social Status, Social Stratification, Socialization
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Deficit Theory; Project Follow Through
Note: Paper presented at the National Institute of Education Follow Through Planning Conference (Philadelphia, PA, February 10-11, 1981).