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ERIC Number: ED516943
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 140
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2491-2
Peer Social Networks among Low-Income Students at an Elite College
Kaplan, Eric J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
This study examines peer social networks among low-income students at an elite college. A qualitative case study used semistructured individual interviews to consider how peer social networks are constructed and developed, the importance of these networks, and which institutional facilitators promote and inhibit same- and cross-class peer social networks. Low-income students are under-represented in higher education and are particularly scarce at elite colleges. Upon matriculation, low-income students join a community of wealth and confront a social geography that is unfamiliar to them. Research suggests that low-income students express feelings of marginalization and isolation, often feeling intimidated by wealthy peers. Low-income students derive a sense of belonging from same-class relationships. Elite colleges structure economic and social opportunity and serve as engines of social mobility. An elite college education may lead to social class transformation by providing interaction with high-income peers, which exposes low-income students to valuable resources and may lead to the acquisition of social capital through cross-class peer social interaction. This research presents an opportunity to examine same- and cross-class peer social networks among low-income students at an elite college and considers opportunities for enhancing same- and cross-class peer social interaction through institutional policy and programming. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A