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ERIC Number: EJ929876
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
Effort Optimism in the Classroom: Attitudes of Black and White Students on Education, Social Structure, and Causes of Life Opportunities
Matthew, Ervin
Sociology of Education, v84 n3 p225-245 Jul 2011
Do black and white students hold similar beliefs about the causes of life opportunities? Disparities in academic performance between blacks and whites have been attributed, in part, to differing attitudes about the relationship between education and life opportunities. Advocates of oppositional culture theory argue that black students consider structural barriers to have more influence on prosperity than do their own efforts in the classroom; detractors contend that black and white students equally consider individual academic performance to be key to future life opportunities. Using the National Education Longitudinal Study, 1988 through 1992, the author demonstrates that students simultaneously accept both structural and individualistic explanations for prosperity. Black students report greater support for structural explanations than do white students, but they report equal or greater support for the relevance of education to their futures. The author finds that, while black and white students do differ in their optimism about future opportunities, dissimilar attitudes about social structure, rather than education, are accountable for this. (Contains 10 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A