Introduction to Social Class and Classism in Counseling Psychology - Oxford Handbooks
Relationship between Poverty and Classism so first off what is the definition of Classism: The institutional, cultural and unique set of traditions. This paper will explore the classism, poverty and racism that exist development , relations between classes shape the social institutions in society and affect each Poverty is defined by Payne () as "the extent to which an individual. In this lesson, students can begin to explore poverty and its implications on society and future What are your own views on social class and poverty? Answers.
According to the Economic Policy Institutepoor working adults spend more hours working each week than their wealthier counterparts. Poor parents are uninvolved in their children's learning, largely because they do not value education. Low-income parents are less likely to attend school functions or volunteer in their children's classrooms National Center for Education Statistics, —not because they care less about education, but because they have less access to school involvement than their wealthier peers.
They are more likely to work multiple jobs, to work evenings, to have jobs without paid leave, and to be unable to afford child care and public transportation.
It might be said more accurately that schools that fail to take these considerations into account do not value the involvement of poor families as much as they value the involvement of other families. Poor people are linguistically deficient.
What often are assumed to be deficient varieties of English—Appalachian varieties, perhaps, or what some refer to as Black English Vernacular—are no less sophisticated than so-called "standard English. Poor people tend to abuse drugs and alcohol. Poor people are no more likely than their wealthier counterparts to abuse alcohol or drugs.
Chen, Sheth, Krejci, and Wallace found that alcohol consumption is significantly higher among upper middle class white high school students than among poor black high school students.
In other words, considering alcohol and illicit drugs together, wealthy people are more likely than poor people to be substance abusers. The Culture of Classism The myth of a "culture of poverty" distracts us from a dangerous culture that does exist—the culture of classism.
This culture continues to harden in our schools today. It leads the most well intentioned of us, like my friend Janet, into low expectations for low-income students. It makes teachers fear their most powerless pupils. And, worst of all, it diverts attention from what people in poverty do have in common: The most destructive tool of the culture of classism is deficit theory. In education, we often talk about the deficit perspective—defining students by their weaknesses rather than their strengths.
Deficit theory takes this attitude a step further, suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own moral and intellectual deficiencies Collins, Deficit theorists use two strategies for propagating this world view: The implications of deficit theory reach far beyond individual bias. If we convince ourselves that poverty results not from gross inequities in which we might be complicit but from poor people's own deficiencies, we are much less likely to support authentic antipoverty policy and programs.
Further, if we believe, however wrongly, that poor people don't value education, then we dodge any responsibility to redress the gross education inequities with which they contend.
This application of deficit theory establishes the idea of what Gans calls the undeserving poor—a segment of our society that simply does not deserve a fair shake. If the goal of deficit theory is to justify a system that privileges economically advantaged students at the expense of working-class and poor students, then it appears to be working marvelously. In our determination to "fix" the mythical culture of poor students, we ignore the ways in which our society cheats them out of opportunities that their wealthier peers take for granted.
We ignore the fact that poor people suffer disproportionately the effects of nearly every major social ill. They lack access to health care, living-wage jobs, safe and affordable housing, clean air and water, and so on Books, —conditions that limit their abilities to achieve to their full potential. Perhaps most of us, as educators, feel powerless to address these bigger issues.
But the question is this: Are we willing, at the very least, to tackle the classism in our own schools and classrooms? This classism is plentiful and well documented Kozol, For example, compared with their wealthier peers, poor students are more likely to attend schools that have less funding Carey, ; lower teacher salaries Karoly, ; more limited computer and Internet access Gorski, ; larger class sizes; higher student-to-teacher ratios; a less-rigorous curriculum; and fewer experienced teachers Barton, The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future also found that low-income schools were more likely to suffer from cockroach or rat infestation, dirty or inoperative student bathrooms, large numbers of teacher vacancies and substitute teachers, more teachers who are not licensed in their subject areas, insufficient or outdated classroom materials, and inadequate or nonexistent learning facilities, such as science labs.
Here in Minnesota, several school districts offer universal half-day kindergarten but allow those families that can afford to do so to pay for full-day services. Our poor students scarcely make it out of early childhood without paying the price for our culture of classism. Deficit theory requires us to ignore these inequities—or worse, to see them as normal and justified.
What does this mean? Regardless of how much students in poverty value education, they must overcome tremendous inequities to learn. Perhaps the greatest myth of all is the one that dubs education the "great equalizer. What Can We Do? The socioeconomic opportunity gap can be eliminated only when we stop trying to "fix" poor students and start addressing the ways in which our schools perpetuate classism. This includes destroying the inequities listed above as well as abolishing such practices as tracking and ability grouping, segregational redistricting, and the privatization of public schools.
We must demand the best possible education for all students—higher-order pedagogies, innovative learning materials, and holistic teaching and learning. But first, we must demand basic human rights for all people: Of course, we ought not tell students who suffer today that, if they can wait for this education revolution, everything will fall into place.
So as we prepare ourselves for bigger changes, we must Educate ourselves about class and poverty.
- We should be talking about class in America as much as race issues
- Introduction to Social Class and Classism in Counseling Psychology
- Social Class, Social Change, and Poverty
Reject deficit theory and help students and colleagues unlearn misperceptions about poverty. Make school involvement accessible to all families. Follow Janet's lead, inviting colleagues to observe our teaching for signs of class bias.
Social Class, Social Change, and Poverty - Science NetLinks
Continue reaching out to low-income families even when they appear unresponsive and without assuming, if they are unresponsive, that we know why. Respond when colleagues stereotype poor students or parents. Never assume that all students have equitable access to such learning resources as computers and the Internet, and never assign work requiring this access without providing in-school time to complete it.
Ensure that learning materials do not stereotype poor people. Fight to keep low-income students from being assigned unjustly to special education or low academic tracks. Make curriculum relevant to poor students, drawing on and validating their experiences and intelligences. Teach about issues related to class and poverty—including consumer culture, the dissolution of labor unions, and environmental injustice—and about movements for class equity.
Teach about the antipoverty work of Martin Luther King Jr. Fight to ensure that school meal programs offer healthy options. Examine proposed corporate-school partnerships, rejecting those that require the adoption of specific curriculums or pedagogies. Most important, we must consider how our own class biases affect our interactions with and expectations of our students. And then we must ask ourselves, Where, in reality, does the deficit lie? Does it lie in poor people, the most disenfranchised people among us?
Does it lie in the education system itself—in, as Jonathan Kozol says, the savage inequalities of our schools? Or does it lie in us—educators with unquestionably good intentions who too often fall to the temptation of the quick fix, the easily digestible framework that never requires us to consider how we comply with the culture of classism.
Do the differences make a difference? An empirical evaluation of the culture of poverty in the United States. American Anthropologist, 6 3— Why does the gap persist? Educational Leadership, 62 38— Culture and poverty in Appalachia: A theoretical discussion and empirical analysis. Social Forces, 53 2— Miseducating teachers about the poor: A critical analysis of Ruby Payne's claims about poverty. Teachers College Record, What you are far less likely to see is a lower income children of any race mixing with a middle or upper income child.
If you are born in poverty in America, you are likely to stay there. A recent Harvard and University of California-Berkley study looked at whether America is really the "land of opportunity" by examining how often children born into families in the bottom fifth of the income scale make it the top fifth.
The Myth of the Culture of Poverty
Not surprisingly, the answer is rarely. In the most economically mobile cities in America, Salt Lake and San Francisco, barely more than 1 in 10 children will really escape poverty. In some places like Atlanta, it's only 1 in Where you are born predicts a lot about your life — the kind of schools you attend, the opportunities you have and the type of life you are likely to lead. In his dream speech, King talked about more than freedom. He talked about the need for economic opportunities: We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
He hit that topic again and again. If a man doesn't have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. There's been a lot of "existing" lately in the US. It's been pointed out often that the gains of the past two decades went to almost exclusively to the richest Americans. The country didn't just leave the poor behind, it left about everyone behind.
Race is a factor in poverty. Blacks, Latinos and families headed by single mothers are far more likely to earn lower wages than average and live below the poverty line. It's an ever bleaker picture when we consider "household wealth", which takes into account whether a family owns a house, has a retirement account and any other investments. As the Urban Institute reports: According to America's Promise Alliancea quarter of black students attend "drop out factories", high schools where close to half or more of the students aren't graduating in four years.