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A Look Into The Social Reproduction Of Inequality

1 Pages 237 Words

According to MacLeod, an open society is a society that embraces meritocracy, which states “success is based on merit, and economic inequality is due to differences in ambition and ability” (3). “Individuals do not inherit their social status; they attain it on their own. Since education ensures equality of opportunity, the ladder of social mobility is there for all to climb,” and such “American Dream is held out as a genuine prospect for anyone with the drive to achieve it” (MacLeod 3). The achievement ideology, in other words, states that individuals’ family origins or class positioning does not have an impact on their occupational mobility or success. However, after reading Jay MacLeod’s Ain't No Makin’ It, and witnessing the two different groups of teenagers in the book, the Brothers and the Hallway Hangers, one believes in the achievement ideology and attends school and the other resists them, both in the end stay in the lower class lead me to question the “openness” of the “land of opportunity” (MacLeod 3). Focusing on the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers in Clarendon Heights, this paper will show that even thought family origins, which determines the location of residence and the ownership of cultural capital, have different impacts on the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers, it does “play their part in the reproduction of social inequality” (MacLeod 253), and thus, questions the validity of the achievement ideology....

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