Minority Status, Oppositional Culture, & Schooling: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Minority Status, Oppositional Culture, & Schooling

1st Edition

Edited by John U. Ogbu


656 pages

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This book is the definitive and final presentation of John Ogbu’s cultural ecological model and the many debates that his work has sparked during the past decade. The theory and empirical foundation of Ogbu’s scholarship, which some have mistakenly reduced to the "acting white hypothesis," is fully presented and re-visited in this posthumous collection of his new writings plus the works of over 20 scholars. Ogbu’s own chapters present how his ideas about minority education and culture developed. Readers will find in these chapters the theoretical roots of his cultural ecological model. The book is organized as a dialogue between John Ogbu and the scholarly community, including his most ardent critics; Ogbu’s own work can be read at the same time as his critics have their say.

Minority Status, Oppositional Culture, and Schooling examines content, methodological, and policy issues framing the debate on academic achievement, school engagement, and oppositional culture. It brings together in one volume, for the first time, some of the most critical works on these issues as well as examples of programs aimed at re-engagement. In addition to African Americans, it also looks at school engagement among Native American and Latino students. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the study of the academic achievement gap.

Table of Contents

Selected Contents:

Table of Contents


Roslyn A. Mickelson


John U. Ogbu

A Note from

Marcellina Ada Ogbu


Marcellina Ada Ogbu


Chapter 1: The History and Status of a Theoretical Debate

John U. Ogbu

Chapter 2: Collective Identity and the Burden of "Acting White" in Black History,

Community, and Education

John U. Ogbu

Chapter 3: Ways of Knowing: The Ethnographic Approach to the Study of Collective

Identity and Schooling

John U. Ogbu

Chapter 4: Multiple Sources of Peer Pressures Among African American Students

John U. Ogbu

Chapter 5: Language and Collective Identity Among Adults and Students in a Black


John U. Ogbu

Chapter 6: "Signithia, You Can Do Better Than That": John Ogbu (and Me)

and the Nine Lives Peoples

Signithia Fordham


Chapter 7: High School Students of Color Talk About Accusations of "Acting White"

David A. Bergin and Helen C. Cooks

Chapter 8: Black Students’ Identity and Acting White and Black

Linwood Cousins

Chapter 9: Reexamining Resistance as Oppositional Behavior: The Nation of Islam and the

Creation of a Black Achievement Ideology

A.A. Akom

Chapter 10: What Does "Acting White" Actually Mean? Racial Identity, Adolescent

Development, and Academic Achievement Among African American Youths

Margaret Beale Spencer and Vinay Harpalani

Chapter 11: "Excellence" and Student Class, Race, and Gender Cultures

Lois Weis

About the Editor

John U. Ogbu, an Anthropologist, was Chancellor and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, and a Member of the National Academy of Education. A well-known author and researcher in the field of minority education, he wrote numerous books and articles on the subject, including the award-winning The Next Generation: An Ethnography of Education in an Urban Neighborhood; Minority Education and Caste: The American System in Cross-Cultural Perspective; and Black American Students in an Affluent Society: A Study of Academic Disengagement (winner of a 2004 American Educational Studies Association Critics’ Choice Award). Professor Ogbu died in 2003 before this book was completed.

About the Series

Sociocultural, Political, and Historical Studies in Education

This series focuses on studies of public and private institutions, the media, and academic disciplines that contribute to educating--in the broadest sense--students and the general public. The series welcomes volumes with multicultural perspectives, diverse interpretations, and a range of political points of view from conservative to critical. Books accepted for publication in this series will be written for an academic audience and, in some cases, also for use as supplementary readings in graduate and undergraduate courses.

Topics to be addressed in this series include, but are not limited to, sociocultural, political, and historical studies of

Local, state, national, and international educational systems

Elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities

Public institutions of education such as museums, libraries, and foundations

Computer systems and software as instruments of public education

The popular media as forms of public education

Content areas within the academic study of education, such as curriculum and instruction, psychology, and educational technology

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Research