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ERIC Number: ED548779
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 160
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-7689-4
Crossing the Bridge When They Come to It: Race, Meritocracy, and the Pursuit of Success in College and Beyond
Matthew, Ervin
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
In recent times, research has revealed a dynamic shift in the perception of racial inequality in the contemporary United States, with an increased belief that racial discrimination is a concern of a bygone era (Hunt 2007). When they are acknowledged, enduring racial disparities in life chances are often attributed to differences in marketable skills and upheld by some scholars as evidence of a meritocratic system within which minorities are likely to succeed if they are able to overcome early disadvantages and acquire the requisite training and credentials (Neal and Johnson 1996). In this project, I test the argument that equivalence on measures of academic merit--school performance and standardized exam scores--is sufficient to assure race-blind success at three stages of the post-high school status attainment process: college entry, college completion, and wage attainment. I discover that blacks and Hispanics progress through the status attainment process at a slower pace than do whites and Asians. Results show that academic merit strongly predicts racial gaps in timing of college enrollment, has less impact on variance in timing of college completion, and is a weak predictor of early-career income disparities. I find evidence that race actually matters "more" later in the post-high school status attainment process than at earlier points when students are equated on measures of academic success, counter to the assumptions of a meritocracy. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A