Education and Social Class
Discussion Assignment 2: Social Class COLLAPSE As our textbook explains, education is one of the most important characteristics that contributes to social class. Many studies completed over several decades have confirmed that higher levels of education are linked to higher income. The chart below, from a sociological study called The Rising Cost of Not Going To College, shows the difference in average income for people who have various educational backgrounds. For people aged 25-32, having a college degree means $17,000 per year more in annual income. There is a large (and growing) gap between the incomes of those who have not completed a college degree and those who have. The authors of the study argue that people pay a high price for not completing college. Unfortunately, sociological research also suggests that many Americans face obstacles to completing their educations and these obstacles are often linked to social class. What do you think could be done to improve access to education, particularly college education, in this country? If Sean Reardon’s research about the income achievement gap (described in the video assigned in the Unit 7 presentation) is correct, what could cities like Baltimore do to improve educational opportunities for the youngest children? What are some ways that low-income families could be provided with guidance, support, or other resources to help them prepare their children for college? Can you think of other ways to make college more accessible?