Communities and Cultures

Kathryn M. Neckerman

in Schools Betrayed

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226569604
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226569628 | DOI:
Communities and Cultures

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Education bestowed income; it could also bestow status. Its social significance had particular import for both blacks and immigrants in Chicago because of their marginalized position within the city, although it resonated most for black and immigrant elites, who promoted education as a means of group uplift. Yet the response to their message depended on the contours of their respective communities. This chapter argues that the meaning of education turned on contrasts in elites' roles in these communities, in the internal organization of black and immigrant neighborhoods, and in the capacity of these communities to protect their members against white American surveillance and stigmatization. Education took on a different social significance for the black and immigrant working classes. The chapter engages cultural explanations for the rise of inner-city schooling and extends an influential account that links minority orientations to schooling to the group's relation to the dominant society. Over time, according to this account, immigrants were accepted into the mainstream of American society, while African Americans remained excluded.

Keywords: education; elites; immigrants; working classes; inner-city schooling; African Americans; culture; black identity; stigmatization; Chicago

Chapter.  7831 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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