1st Edition

Dividing Classes How the Middle Class Negotiates and Rationalizes School Advantage

By Ellen Brantlinger Copyright 2003
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this study of the school system of an Indiana town, Ellen Brantlinger studies educational expectations within segments of the middle class that have fairly high levels of attainment. Building on her findings, she examines the relationship between class structure and educational success. This book asserts the need to look beyond poor peoples' values and aspirations--and rather to consider the values of dominant groups--to explain class stratification and educational outcomes.

    Acknowledgements Preface 1. Class Position, Social Life, and School Outcomes 2. Examining Social Class Reproduction at Micro and Emic Levels: A Critical, Interpretive Study 3. Affluent Mothers Narrate Their Own and Other People's Children 4. Conflicted Pedagogical and Curricular Perspectives of Middle Class Mothers 5. Positions and Outlooks of Teachers at Different Schools 6. Impact of Teacher Position on Divided Classes 7. Succumbing to Demands: Administrators under Pressure 8. School Board Perceptions of Policy and Power 9. Conclusion: Choosing a Democratic, Communitarian Ethic for Schools and Society Notes References Subject Index Author Index


    Ellen Brantlinger is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University, Bloomington.

    "Dividing Classes forces us to confront perhaps the most troubling and least studied challenge to equitable schooling: Middle-class Americans' presumption that their own superiority accounts for their school success and the life chances that successful schooling brings. In her penetrating account of affluent, mostly liberal, mothers and education professionals, Brantlinger shows how powerfully the ideology of meritocracy undercuts the educational opportunities of low-income young people. Most important she illuminates how this undercutting works through the seemingly innocent, day-to-day talk and actions of middle-class Americans that consistently advantage society's already-advantaged young people." -- Jeannie Oakes, Presidential Professor of Educational Equity, UCLA
    "Describes how members of the educated middle class act to secure the best of what schools have to offer for their own children and how they rationalize their actions." -- Journal of Economic Literature