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Common Read: The Privileged Poor
Resources for the School of Education and Human Development's Common Read Spring 2021
The college admissions scandal that was exposed makes clear what so many of us already know: The much-lauded American meritocracy is a lie. But even though it's an open secret that wealthy people game the admissions system, ever since I first set foot on a campus - as a first-generation African-American student at highly selective Amherst College - I've been told that the main problem with the system is me.
Anthony Jack beat the odds. His research focuses on those who don’t. Many elite colleges don’t narrow the gap between rich and poor; they widen it, says Harvard scholar Anthony Abraham Jack, who continues to experience that gap.
Anthony A. Jack sees the ability to reach out as just another tool in a successful professional’s kit. This is part of a series called Focal Point, in which we ask a range of Harvard faculty members to answer the same question.
''There's always famine during spring break.'' On the assumption that most students leave, schools generally shut down. But this assumption is outdated, especially as colleges enroll a greater number of academically talented students from poor families.
Celebrities, coaches among 50 people charged with cheating kids into elite schools. The U.S. college admissions scandal reveals systemic abuses of privilege within American society, says an assistant professor at Harvard University.
In "The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students," Jack peels back complex layers of poverty, privilege and inclusion. "It's an oxymoron, and it's purposely so. I want people to ask that exact question: How can someone be both privileged and poor?"
On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion | Anthony Jack | TEDxCambridge
PBS Open Mind: The Case for Economic Affirmative Action
How do undergraduates engage authority figures in college? Existing explanations predict class-based engagement strategies. Using in-depth interviews with 89 undergraduates at an elite university, I show how undergraduates with disparate precollege experiences differ in their orientations toward and strategies for engaging authority figures in college.
Existing explanations of class marginality predict similar social experiences for all lower-income undergraduates. This article extends this literature by presenting data highlighting the cultural and social contingencies that account for differences in experiences of class marginality. The degree of cultural and social dissimilarity between one's life before and during college helps explain variation in experiences. I contrast the experiences of two groups of lower-income, black undergraduates-the Doubly Disadvantaged and Privileged Poor. Although from comparable disadvantaged households and neighborhoods, they travel along divergent paths to college. Unlike the Doubly Disadvantaged, whose precollege experiences are localized, the Privileged Poor cross social boundaries for school. In college, the Doubly Disadvantaged report negative interactions with peers and professors and adopt isolationist strategies, while the Privileged Poor generally report positive interactions and adopt integrationist strategies. In addition to extending present conceptualizations of class marginality, this study advances our understanding of how and when class and culture matter in stratification processes in college.