The Paradoxes of Opportunity

Prudence L. Carter

in Stubborn Roots

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199899630
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199951147 | DOI:
The Paradoxes of Opportunity

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Chapter Three posits one of the book's main arguments: even as improved resource contexts become available to historically and socially disadvantaged students, other issues unfold that threaten their educational well-being. Paradoxically, although some students now have access to “good” schools, they encounter other forms of exclusion. Drawing on multiple data sources, this chapter highlights the duality of material and cultural structures in South African and U.S. schools, illustrating how certain school-level policies, fraught with political, social and cultural meanings, reproduce racial (and other social) boundaries and even (unwittingly) encourage divides among students, despite increased social contact and exchanges. Chapter Three compares and contrasts the differences among schools with varying ideologies and ethos'—or organizational-racial habitus—about how to approach cultural diversity. This chapter links to Chapter 4, which shows that students and educators in schools that take more egalitarian approaches to every facet of school life report higher social outcomes.

Keywords: boundaries; cultural contexts; organizational-racial habitus; resource contexts; structures

Chapter.  12764 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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